Canadians Rethinking How They Spend With Pandemic Money Habits Here to Stay, New Scotiabank Survey

·4 min read
  • 63% of Canadians do not plan to return to pre-pandemic spending levels

  • 53% of Canadians plan to cut back even more on spending

  • 55% of Canadians are expecting their ability to save money will decrease

TORONTO, Oct. 28, 2021 /CNW/ - Canadians will spend cautiously in the months ahead and maintain their pandemic money habits as the economy re-opens, according to the latest Scotiabank Money Habits Survey. According to the survey of over 1,500 Canadians, nearly two out of three Canadians (63%) say they do not plan to return to their pre-pandemic spending habits, while half (53%) say they plan to cut back.

Scotiabank Logo (CNW Group/Scotiabank)
Scotiabank Logo (CNW Group/Scotiabank)

As opportunities to spend on pre-pandemic activities increase with the return to more 'normal' ways of life, 55% of Canadians are expecting their ability to save money will decrease. As such, almost half of Canadians (42%) are feeling anxious about their personal finances, with most of those respondents (84%) feeling the same or more anxious today than they did at the start of the pandemic. Scotiabank also found that most Canadians (81%) are worried about the increased cost of living and how that impacts their finances.

"Earlier this year we saw Canadians curb their spending, keep a closer watch on their finances, and refine some of their money habits because of the pandemic. Six months later, now with fewer restrictions and the economy beginning to reopen, Canadians are keen on keeping up with the positive habits they developed," said D'Arcy McDonald, Senior Vice President of Day-to-Day Banking at Scotiabank. "The Scotiabank Money Habits survey revealed that even with good habits, Canadians are still anxious about the future of their finances."

These results reinforce Scotiabank's Money Habits Survey from spring 2021 where Canadians were eager to get back to travel, gatherings with friends and loved ones, and visiting restaurants, but were still not planning on returning to their pre-pandemic spending patterns. Canadians who took up activities like baking and cooking, virtual fitness classes, ordering in take-out or grocery kits, and television streaming services reported continuing these activities at virtually the same levels as they did last Spring.

Regional and Generational Divide

While there are no significant differences between urban and rural areas, Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area are the most anxious about their personal financial situation (50%) compared to people in Vancouver (40%) and in Montreal (33%).

Among those feeling anxious towards their finances, residents of Alberta (39%), Ontario (40%), and the Atlantic provinces (39%) are significantly more anxious than residents of Quebec (24%).

The survey also found that younger Canadians between the ages of 18-34 were most anxious about their personal finances (51%) while those in the 55+ age group were least anxious (31%). Only 31% of respondents who were 55+ indicated they are anxious about their finances.

Scotiabank's Top Tips to Manage Financial Anxiety

  1. Don't go at it alone - Seeking advice from an advisor can calm some of those post pandemic finance anxieties. Scotiabank advisors can provide you with the support and financing that you need in the months ahead.

  2. Always be prepared for what might come next – If the pandemic taught us anything, it's that we should always have a backup plan if things don't go according to plan. Start by creating an emergency savings account and putting aside some money each month. This way you can ensure you have a backup cash reserve in case of an emergency.

  3. Double check those reoccurring subscriptions – One habit that Canadians picked up during the pandemic was switching to automated services, such as streaming services. However, sometimes we forget we created those accounts while still getting billed for them. Check your credit card statements at the end of each month to catch those reoccurring services you may have forgotten you added in the middle of the lockdown.

Scotiabank Can Help

For customers concerned about navigating their financial plans, Advice+ is a service that offers customers a range of options to seek financial advice during these challenging times. Advice+ offers an online hub called the Scotia Advice Centre, which provides a comprehensive self-help approach to financial planning and the option to book an in-person appointment with a Scotiabank financial advisor for more personalized, tailored advice.


Scotiabank's Money Habits survey was conducted by Maru/Blue on behalf of Scotiabank from September 10th - September 11th, 2021. A total of 1,507 completed surveys were collected from a random sample of Canadian residents.

About Scotiabank:
Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. Guided by our purpose: "for every future" we help our customers, their families and their communities achieve success through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of over 90,000 employees and assets of approximately $1.2 trillion (as at July 31, 2021), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

SOURCE Scotiabank


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