How fast can you spend $100? For the average Canadian it’s four days and for one-quarter of us it’s less than two days. Spending makes us happy, Toronto-based Mackenzie Financial Corporation found in a December survey of Canadian burn rates - how fast we spend discretionary money.
Over two-thirds say that spending gives them a rush, although women feel guiltier about it than men (15 per cent versus eight per cent) and women also think they spend faster than men (59 versus 55 per cent). Women spend differently than men also, on children and grandchildren (27 per cent) while men spend their money on entertainment and dining out (38 per cent).
“It’s always interesting, not so much what people make, but what they spend,” says John Nadeau, Whistler TD Bank manager.
Nadeau says that consumers should be aware of not just what they spend but what they could save.
“For two lattes a week an individual could save $10,000 in ten years,” Nadeau said. By investing $55 a month and given compound interest, an investor could double their investment.
Mackenzie Financial Corporation also has some tips for managing cash:
Take cash out on Sunday night and make it last a week.
- Track your spending and cash flow each week for four weeks to see where it goes.
- Don’t shop under pressure. Create a holiday/birthday gift/closet that you contribute to all year long.
The telephone survey of 1,061 Canadians also found that 80 per cent of Canadians own a credit card, and half of those have an average balance of $1700.
“We’re truly in an age of spending, there’s no doubt about that.” said Rhonda Katz, family therapist consultant to Mackenzie Investments. “But it’s truly time for Canadians to stop living beyond their means, and make saving and investing mean something in their lives.”