Changing Resolutions: Almost Half (42%) Have Changed Financial New Year’s Resolutions in Response to Cost of Living Concerns

Over Two-Thirds (68%) Have Set Financial Goals for Themselves and Yet Majorities Do Not Have a Financial Plan (69%) and/or Household Budget (60%)

The author(s)
  • James Cottrill Senior Account Manager, CA, Public Affairs
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Toronto, Ontario, December 12, 2023 — A new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of BMO reveals that almost half (42%) of Canadians have changed their financial New Year’s Resolutions in response to rising cost of living concerns, including as many as three in ten (30%) who say they now plan to minimize spending and seventeen percent (17%) who plan to create financial goals and/or a budget, in 2024. Notably, around the same proportion (44%) indicate that they do not make any financial New Year’s resolutions.

Over two-thirds (68%) of Canadians claim to have set financial goals for themselves, including retirement planning (59%), saving for a vacation (46%), paying down debt (39%), and saving for a large purchase such as a car, large appliance, etc. (36%). Even though majorities seem to have financial goals in mind, majorities admit they do not have a financial plan (69%) and/or household budget for the year (60%), while three in ten (30%) feel like they are not on track to meet their financial goals.

Around three in five (58%) believe having a financial advisor from their bank is important in terms of helping them reach their financial goals whereas closer to half (48%) feel this way about an investment firm financial advisor. And yet just two in five (40%) report working with a financial advisor. These results indicate that while most Canadians seem to have financial goals and/or ambitions, majorities might not be taking the requisite actions needed to support the attainment of these goals and/or ambitions.

Holiday Debt and Financial Anxiety

A majority (58%) of Canadians plan on using credit cards to pay for their Holiday gifts and think it will take about three months, on average, to pay back their Holiday bills. Perhaps more concerningly, one in four (24%) are not confident they will be able to pay off their post-Holiday bills on time.

Many are experiencing financial anxiety, thanks to the current economic context and environment. The leading sources of financial anxiety are fear of unknown expenses (82%), concerns about overall financial situation (81%), housing costs (73%) and keeping up with monthly bills and family-related expenses (65%).



About the Study

These are the findings of an Ipsos survey conducted on behalf of BMO. Fieldwork was conducted between September 11 and October 9, 2023. A total of n=2,502 Canadians aged 18+ participated in the survey which was fielded via the Ipsos’ panel. Quotas and weighting were used to ensure the sample's composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. This survey has a credibility interval of +/- 2.4 per cent 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all Canadian adults 18+ been surveyed.


For more information on this Factum, please contact:

James Cottrill
Senior Account Manager, Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2900
[email protected]


About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP


The author(s)
  • James Cottrill Senior Account Manager, CA, Public Affairs