To mark Financial Planning Week and Financial Literacy Month, BMO Financial Group has issued the results of a study that shows that finances dominate the thoughts of Canadians.

According to the study, 63 per cent of Canadians say they spend more time thinking about finances than other aspects of their life, including planning leisure activities (22 per cent) and pondering the ups and downs of their love life (14 per cent.

Of note, even though Canadians are thinking about money, the percentage of individuals with a financial plan is actually down compared to last year, 59 per cent versus 64 per cent in 2012.

“If people want to reduce the time they spend thinking about dollars and cents and be more secure about their overall financial situation, they should consider working with a professional to develop a financial plan, says Caroline Dabu, vice president and head, BMO Wealth Planning Group.

“Identifying what you’re saving for and how you’re going to get there can provide great peace of mind and free up more of your time to attend to other aspects of your life,” Dabu says.

According to the study, Canadians who have a financial plan see value in having one; 82 per cent said having a financial plan helped them achieve their financial goals and 69 per cent said that they wish they had created one sooner.

The study also examined the reasons why a significant number of Canadians still do not have a financial plan. Reasons cited include:

  • do not have enough money to warrant a financial plan (37 per cent);
  • never thought of doing a financial plan (29 per cent);
  • do not know how to start the process (28 per cent); and
  • not sure what a financial plan involves (19 per cent).