Everyone is feeling the financial squeeze, with nearly 86% of Canadians finding their money isn’t going as far as it used to. With inflation and rising interest rates adding to the pressures on households, the Interac research shows that 67% of Canadians are practicing ‘intentional spending.’ That means most are making purposeful purchasing decisions that live up to their financial goals and personal values.
As shoppers turn to various ways to help them through these financial hardships and maintain more control over their money in new economic times, they are looking for creative ways to help them spend more mindfully. As we enjoy fewer restrictions than we did during earlier stages of the pandemic, the opportunities and temptations to spend are rising. This couples with the rising prices and inflation rates is creating havoc in many people’s lives.
Over half of Canadians are less likely to spend on impulse now than they were before the pandemic. Interac transaction data shows that Canadians used Interac Debit to conduct nearly 7% more transactions this past summer compared to spring 2022. Summer is typically associated with higher spending. This increase was felt mostly at eating places, going up by nearly 60% this past summer versus 2021. Fifty per cent of Gen Z adults report they are spending more money because of increased social activities, compared to 20% of Boomers.
Spending What You Have
At a time when money worries appear to be rising, 18% link intentional spending with feeling restricted. Instead, 77% have positive associations, including feeling in control, disciplined, thoughtful, empowered, happy and considerate. Four in 10 Canadians say they are hesitant to use credit and prefer to only spend the money they have.
Shopping With Intention
Canadians are making an effort to purchase what they need rather than what they want. The data shows that 62% want tools which encourage intentional spending. More than half say inflation is making it more difficult to afford the things they need. Six in ten people are spending more on essentials than they were even three months ago. Spending on gas and groceries has increased approximately 9% and 4% respectively in the last three months.
Interac launched Sound Shopping, a new music track that provides a balanced backdrop to the shopping experience. It’s intended to promote mindful spending at a time of financial anxiety so people can feel like they are in control of their spending. Those who participated in the research observed that the Sound Shopping track made them feel calmer than those who listened to popular music.
Over six in 10 Canadians who practice intentional spending take a pause and think about purchases before making them. When it comes to making non-essential purchases, taking at least a one-day pause before completing the transaction often leads to increased satisfaction.
As the prices of goods and services continue to rise, many people are looking for ways to save some money on their purchases. Nearly 5 in 10 people say they now look for deals and sales when shopping. Spending at discount retailers is rising, while spending at premium stores is retracting.
Purchasing pre-owned clothing is one way to help keep your expenses down while ensuring there can be updates to the wardrobes or home.
Not only does it save money, but it’s better for the environment. Items that may have otherwise finished its life cycle are given another chance to be used. This helps sustainability efforts.
Here are some tips for thrift shopping:
- Try to meet the free shipping minimums if shopping online. Often, people may be close enough to the free shipping minimum that it makes sense to add in one more item. The money either goes to shipping or scoring one more piece you may need.
- Take advantage of rewards program. This will help earn additional items or rewards, stretching your dollars even further.
- Look for rescue programs. A rescue program has partnered with companies to sell their dead stock or manufacturer defect items. The items are offered at deeply discounted rates, providing access to new things at pre-owned rates.
Seek Long Lasting Fabrics
Fast fashion contributes more to climate change than air and sea travel. Fabrics made of long-staple cottons fray less, pill less, wrinkle less, and even fade less than fabrics made with their short-staple counterparts. This way, your items last longer and there is less need to buy more due to damage.
Using an online savings calculator can help you determine how much you need to put away each month to meet your savings goal and not be in the red during this financial pinch. While it may seem hard to think of tucking away additional dollars, it may be more wise now to create a savings plan than when times are good. Given the economic instabilities the world is going through, trying to put away a set amount each month is the best favour your can do for you and your family. You can set up a savings goal and try this online calculator to help you reach it.
The Gist of it
The current financial times are tough and everyone is feeling the pinch. With our dollars not going as far as they used to, many of us are having to practice intentional spending. While we’ve heard this so many times, we are all in this together. To ensure financial viability, the tips above can help you save in the long run and spend within your means. Using an online calculator, bargain and thrift shopping, and pausing before a purchase are all great ways to stretch your dollar.
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