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Half of Atlantic Canadians feeling 'social squeeze' on personal finances: MNP


Many Atlantic Canadians are squeezed by the cost of living pressures and lingering financial impacts from the pandemic, though not everyone's feeling the pinch.

According to MNP's latest consumer debt index, 24 per cent of Atlantic Canadians feel better about their current debt situation compared to last year. Meanwhile, 22 per cent say their debt situation is much worse.

"We know that almost half of Atlantic Canadians are still reporting being $200 or less away from being able to meet their financial obligations, and that's more than the national average," said Tina Powell, a licensed insolvency trustee with MNP.

The consumer debt index also showed 62 per cent of people in the region are concerned about debt repayment, which is less than a year ago.

When it comes financial recovery from the pandemic, 30 per cent say they have recovered while 37 per cent are worse-off than four years ago.

It's not just bills people are concerned about. More than half of Atlantic Canadians feel a social squeeze on their personal finances, and worry about the amount of money they have to spend on lifestyle and social obligations.

"I think it's being aware of how much you have available to spend for social activities, and living within it, and being creative," said Halifax-based financial planner and money coach Wendy Brookhouse.

"It could be as much as sometimes instead of meeting at a coffee shop, why don't we go for a walk and bring our own coffee? What if we have a potluck at my house instead of going out for dinner?"

MNP's latest consumer debt index also revealed an increase in the amount of people who already can't cover their bills and debt payments. It shows more than a third of Atlantic Canadians are getting deeper into debt every month.

The data also showed one in five feel much better equipped to absorb an interest rate increase of one percentage point. Top Stories

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