Despite challenging economic conditions in parts of the country, Canadians continue to find ways to save their money. 

According to the latest BMO Tax-Free Savings Account study, the average annual TFSA contribution in 2019 was $5,332, up 10% year over year from $4,826 in 2018.

Residents in the Prairies contributed the most ($6,035) while those in Atlantic Canada contributed the least ($3,389). 

The annual report, conducted by Pollara, found the total amount Canadians hold in their TFSAs is up 4% year-over-year, at an average of $28, 214. Two-thirds of Canadians currently have a TFSA.

BMO Economics attributed the increases in TFSA contributions to generally strong job growth and rising wages.

The report also found that Canadians are investing more frequently — and they’re turning to professionals for advice.

Fifty-seven per cent of respondents said they contribute to investment accounts at least quarterly (up from 49% in 2018), and 45% of investors said they use an advisor (up from 42% in 2018).

More than half (52%) of investors said they check their investments on a monthly basis, and 68% said they check their investments on a quarterly basis.

“Although Canadians continue to voice not having enough to invest as the main reason for not maximizing their TFSAs, we are seeing positive changes in financial behaviour when it comes to investing and saving across the country,” said Nicole Ow, head, term investments, BMO Bank of Montreal.

The federal government announced in November that the TFSA contribution limit for 2020 is $6,000.