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BMO Real Financial Progress Index - Holiday Edition: Younger Canadians Getting in the Spirit with Increased Spending and Savings

  • Canadians' financial resolutions for 2022 include saving more and sticking to a budget

TORONTO, Nov. 18, 2021 /CNW/ - Despite nearly half of Canadians and Americans showing increased confidence in their personal finances in the past year, both countries are approaching spending this holiday season with caution, according to new research from BMO's Real Financial Progress Index.

BMO's Real Financial Progress Index uncovered the following about holiday spending and savings habits:

  • Over 30 per cent of both Americans and Canadians report they plan to spend less on the holidays this year – although Americans are seven per cent more likely to increase spending this year
  • Nearly 20 per cent of American men are planning to spend more this holiday season, compared to 11 per cent of Canadian men. In both countries, men are more likely to increase spending than women
  • A quarter of Millennial Americans plan to spend more on the holidays, compared to 12 per cent of Canadian Millennials
  • Among Canadians, Gen Z's are the most likely (63 per cent) to save specifically for holiday spending, while those over the age of 65 are the least likely (41 per cent)
  • Almost half (47 per cent) of Gen Z Canadians are saving more for the holidays and this demographic is also most likely to be spending more this year (18 per cent)

"As recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it's wonderful to see Canadians are gaining confidence in their financial situations," said Gayle Ramsay, Head, Everyday Banking and Customer Growth, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Financial plans often get left by the wayside during the holidays and it's encouraging to see younger Canadians proactively incorporating these additional expenses into their budgets."

Making 2022 a Year of Financial Progress

The study found Canadians are seven per cent less likely than Americans to plan financial resolutions for 2022, at 49 versus 56 per cent respectively. Only 46 per cent of Canadian men plan to establish financial goals, compared to 57 per cent of American men. Over half of women from both countries say they will create financial goals for the new year.  

Among Canadians who made financials resolutions, the most common goals are to save more than in previous years and to stick to a budget. Additionally, Canadians indicated the top three signs they are making financial progress are having an emergency fund, saving for retirement and paying down debt.

"New Year's financial resolutions set clear goals and form habits that will help ensure real financial progress throughout the year, making Canadians more confident in their financial futures," continued Ramsay.

BMO offers the following tips when setting financial goals:

  • Talk about money with trusted individuals, such as friends, family, a banker or financial advisor. A banker can suggest programs and tools based on an individual's unique goals and financial situation.
  • Be specific when setting financial goals (such as saving for retirement, paying off debt, building an emergency fund or starting an investment portfolio). Check in on your progress at least quarterly throughout the year and adjust if needed.
  • Take advantage of your bank's money management and digital banking tools, lending programs and educational resources. For example, BMO Insights uses AI technology to provide customers' automated, personalized insights into their day-to-day banking behaviours.

To find out how BMO can help customers make financial progress, visit: 

About the BMO Real Financial Progress Index
Launched in February 2021, the BMO Real Financial Progress Index is an indicator of how consumers feel about their personal finances and whether they are making financial progress. The index aims to spark dialogue that will help consumers reach their financial goals and humanize a topic that causes anxiety for many – money.

The research detailed above was conducted by Ipsos in Canada from October 7-29, 2021. A sample of 3,401 adults ages 18+ were surveyed this wave. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters.

About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $971 billion as of July 31, 2021, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

Internet: Twitter: @BMOMedia

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: For News Media Inquiries: Colleen Hamilton, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996