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As the cost of living goes up, most Canadians are making daily sacrifices - while holding on to big ambitions

61 per cent of Canadians have adopted some sort of cost-cutting behavior, but few plan to postpone major life events, even in the face of higher costs

TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2023 /CNW/ - A new CIBC poll finds that while more than half of all Canadians (61 per cent) say they have engaged in some sort of cost-cutting behaviour to manage the increased cost of living, very few plan to delay major life events like getting married (2 per cent), buying a first home (6 per cent), or having a child (2 per cent).

However, Canadians are making adjustments to their finances as 86 per cent say they are concerned about inflation and 54 per cent are concerned about their ability to pay for day-to-day expenses such as gas and groceries. Almost half of all Canadians (46 per cent) say they are cutting back on their nonessential spending such as entertainment and dining at restaurants, while 43 per cent are actively reducing their day-to-day spending by purchasing lower-cost items and couponing.

"As life gets more expensive, the choices we make carry more weight. Understanding your personal budget and where your money is going, as well as working with a financial advisor towards achieving your financial goals, is important for long-term success," said Carissa Lucreziano, Vice-President, Financial and Investment Advice, CIBC.

Most Canadians (61 per cent) are concerned about their ability to plan for and meet future goals, or save money for longer-term needs (63 per cent), but fewer Canadians say they've delayed bigger picture ambitions. Only 15 per cent say they are delaying home renovations and 20 per cent say they will postpone taking a vacation next year. Despite concerns, only 13 per cent say they have sought advice from a financial advisor in the last three months.

"It can be tricky to keep your bigger ambitions on track in a challenging environment, but it is possible," added Lucreziano. "Nobody wants to give up a family vacation or postpone a home renovation, so it's important to align your expectations to the reality of your budget so you can make compromises and continue to work on your goals."  

Areas where Canadians feel they could benefit from more advice:

  • 24 per cent say investing
  • 17 per cent say wills or estate planning
  • 16 per cent say retirement planning
  • 14 per cent say debt consolidation

As Canadian are tightening their belts and adapting to increased cost of living, polling shows that 30 per cent believe we are heading into a recession, while 23 per cent believe we are currently in a recession. Still, the picture isn't entirely gloomy as 39 per cent of respondents said they are feeling "content or happy" with the way things are when asked to describe their current outlook on life. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) say the economy is holding steady.


This Maru Public Opinion survey was undertaken between August 2nd and August 3rd, 2023 by the sample and data experts at Maru/Blue and involved 1510 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada online panelists. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by education, age, gender, and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About CIBC  

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 13 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network and locations across Canada, with offices in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at


For further information: Kira Smylie, CIBC Communications & Public Affairs, 416-980-2949 or