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Friday News Round Up: December 22, 2017

Here’s what caught our eye this week:

StatsCan compares living costs by province

According to a Statistics Canada data release, Albertans spend more on food, shelter and transportation than all other nine provinces, allocating up to 63.1 per cent of total household spending on living essentials. This is higher than the national average of 62.3 per cent.  Ontarians top the list when it comes to percentage of spending devoted to shelter, at 30.9 per cent, or $23,076 annually on average.

StatsCan’s data release also found that national averages for household expenditures went up in almost all areas from 2015 to 2016. Most notably, the amount spent on shelter increased by almost three per cent year over year. Personal insurance payments and pension contributions also increased by 3.6 per cent, which indicates that Canadians are prioritizing saving for the future.

Read the full data release, here.

What’s keeping Canadians from shopping with a digital wallet?

Global News explored why Canadians seem to be averse to using digital wallets, despite high levels of smartphone ownership and awareness of payment options. In the past six months, only seven per cent of Canadians used a digital wallet to make purchases.

According to experts from Ipsos-Reid, Canadians’ adoption of digital wallets is hindered by three factors. First, Canadians seem to prioritize compatibility over convenience, which means adoption of digital wallets will likely be low until a single mobile payment system which supports all types of cards, across all providers, is introduced. Retailers are also lagging in their adoption of point-of-purchase terminals which support mobile payments.  And finally, more than half of Canadians have expressed concerns over the security of mobile payment systems. explored Canadians’ trust in mobile payments in more detail in the 2017 Digital Money Trends Report.

How to keep your spending in check this holiday season

It’s that time of year! With Christmas just days away, Canadians have been flocking to malls and stores across the country to stock up on gifts for loved ones (and themselves).

Personal finance expert Rubina Ahmed-Haq shared her tips for managing your spending during the busy holiday season. Some of her top tips include:

  1. Tally up your spending to date: keeping score of how close you are to your holiday budget (or how far past it) can be a welcome reality check during a spending frenzy.

  2. Delay spending on yourself: wait until after Christmas to spend on yourself to take advantage of deals.

  3. Return items you don’t need: take stock of the gifts you’ve bought, and make returns as soon as possible.

  4. Be realistic about your debt: give yourself enough time to plan for Christmas shopping bills that will be due for payment at the end of February.

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