Canadians Point to Wasteful Spending as a Weakness | FBC, Canada's Farm & Small Business Tax Specialist

Canadians Point to Wasteful Spending as a Weakness

Accounting and tax services are more easily handled when business owners accurately document what purchases they make. Getting into this habit is something that can be learned as an entrepreneur, but the seeds are often planted as an everyday consumer.

However, based on a recent poll from nonprofit charitable service Credit Canada Debt Solutions, many Canadians in their private lives are spending too much money on items that people admit to being fairly frivolous.

More than three-quarters of respondents to the poll indicated that they recognize often spending too much on consumption-related purchases, but find it difficult to stop. Some of the most common "vices" Canadians confessed to included going out to dinner frequently, buying cigarettes, going out to lunch, clothes shopping and lottery tickets.

Laurie Campbell, CEO of the Toronto-based debt management and counseling firm, indicated that wasteful spending can be addictive when left to its own devices and not reined in.

"Impulse purchases may seem harmless in small doses but they quickly add up and pull you into a debt spiral," said Campbell.

Less Regretful About Big Purchases
Interestingly, however, Canadians aren't as remorseful about purchases that tend to be more substantial. This may be because these buys tend to be more thought out, where consumers go through financial planning in order to be certain that they have the appropriate funds to afford it. For example, the poll found that less than 10 percent of respondents regretted having bought a house that wasn't cheaper. And just 15 per cent said that they ought to have purchased a car that was more affordable.

Responsible financial planning typically leads to fewer mistakes as a business owner or consumer, but in those instances where individuals do make an error, Canadians say that they take ownership of them. Roughly 75 per cent of Canadians said that they take responsibility for money-related missteps they've made, in a separate survey also commissioned by Credit Canada Debt Solutions.

The week of Nov. 10 in Canada is Credit Education Week, with all of November being Financial Literacy Month. Sponsored in part by the nonprofit charitable firm, this is the eighth year the seven-day campaign will take place, with this year's theme being "Failure to Launch." The aim of the initiative is to help Canadians and business owners kickstart their goals so they can turn dreams into reality.

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"Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time." — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe