woman stressed over uneasy stock market
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Inflation has left Canadians feeling unsettled about their day-to-day spending and future financial security, according to a poll commissioned by RBC.

The RBC 2023 Financial Flexibility Poll found more than three-quarters (77%) of survey respondents said they would like to save more but can’t because of rising costs.

Almost two-thirds (64%) are concerned about falling behind financially this year. And almost half (48%) reported they have never been more stressed out about money.

The results mirrored concerns revealed in a recent CIBC poll which found that Canadians are tightening their purse strings in response to inflation.

“When we add on that more than one-third of Canadians don’t have an emergency fund, we’re seeing financial flexibility disappearing for many across the country,” said Craig Bannon, director, regional financial planning support with RBC.

Many respondents also have serious concerns about the effect inflation could have on their financial future. Almost three-quarters (72%) of those with debt are worried about taking on more debt, while the majority are concerned they won’t have enough money to cover unexpected costs (67%) or ongoing expenses (62%).

A significant number of respondents (39%) say they worry it will take longer for them to retire, and 21% expect they will need to come out of retirement.

If a recession does come to pass, the majority said it would be tougher on everyone today than in 2008-2009 (71%) and would negatively impact their own finances (70%). But over half (53%) indicated they are too concerned about covering current expenses to worry about a recession.

The online poll was conducted from June 20 to 23, with a representative sampling of 1,508 Canadian adults, all of them members of the online Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a sample of this size would yield a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.