Why so SADD? Canadians surveyed on surviving Seasonal Affective “Debt” Disorder

Credit Canada poll probes how Canadians “burn through cash” or “huddle and save” to get through winter

TORONTO, Jan. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With the winter months underway and holiday credit card statements set to drop this week, Credit Canada has surveyed Canadians on what makes them sad - or should we say SADD. Playing on the well-known Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that starts in the fall and continues into the winter months, Credit Canada has added D for debt to factor in how Canadians deal with a deep freeze in both temperature and finances.

The Credit Canada SADD Index, an Angus Reid poll of 1,502 Canadians, probed Canadians on how they intend to save or spend their way through the next three months. The survey also asked whether Canadians foresee their financial situation improving (29%), worsening (12%) or staying the same between now and spring (59%).

Huddle and save - When asked what they plan to do this winter to save money, here were the responses:

  • Stay in until the thaw is the plan for one-in-five Canadians (18%)
  • Netflix and chill (39% intend to “watch a lot of streaming TV”)
  • The convenient environmentalist (42% intend to “keep lights and heat low”)
  • The ramen noodle chronicles (44% expect to “eat more budget-friendly meals”)
  • Staycation (37% plan to “not spend any money on travel”)
  • Finally, 13 per cent plan “no drinking for the months of January or February” (for economic reasons of course)

Burning through money (metaphorically) to stay warm - When asked “which of the following areas they plan to spend” here were the responses:

  • Take comfort in food (39% will “go out to restaurants”)
  • Shop till you drop (37% will “go shopping or online shopping”)
  • Delivery meals for my feels (25% will “order delivery meals” such as SkipTheDishes and Uber Eats)
  • Vacation as “medication” (23% will “take a vacation away from home”)
  • Streaming subscription overdose  (15% will “purchase more streaming services” such as Netflix, Crave, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Plus etc.)
  • Clubbing the blahs away OR dancing the debt away (11% will “go out to bars and clubs”)

“Dealing with debt during winter can definitely add to the overwhelming sense of gloom,” said Laurie Campbell, CEO of Credit Canada. “With many Canadians opening their holiday credit card statements this week, we wanted to highlight fun ways to address both spending and saving that can help people effectively manage their debt during the winter months.”

A tale of two generations
One of the more striking findings was the generational divide between responses from millennials (18-34) versus older adults (55+).

For example, in terms of huddling and saving, the younger cohort was:

  • Twice as likely to eat more budget-friendly meals (58% vs 31%)
  • Far more likely to ‘Netflix and chill’ (47% vs 27%)
  • Far more likely to stay in until the thaw (21% vs 12%)
  • Considerably more likely to staycation/not spend any money on travel (42% vs 30%)
  • Twice as likely to not drink for the month of January or February (17% vs 9%)

However, in terms of burning through cash, the younger cohort was:

  • Far more likely to take comfort in restaurants (48% vs 32%)
  • Twice as likely to go shopping or online shopping (50% vs 26%)
  • Six times more likely to order delivery meals (46% vs 8%)
  • Considerably less likely to go on vacation (17% vs 28%)
  • Twice as likely to engage in streaming subscription overdose (19% vs 9%)

Young people, optimism and the seeming paradox
“What’s interesting is that young Canadians aged 18-34 is the age group most likely to plan to save money this winter, while at the same time, the most likely to spend money this winter too,” added Campbell. “Moreover, the young cohort is by far the most likely to feel their financial situation will improve between now and spring 2020.”

Credit Canada offers free resources and tools to help Canadians manage their debt, including a Holiday Debt Hangover Guide, Budget Planner + Expense Tracker, and Debt Calculator.

The full results of the Credit Canada SADD Index can be found here.

About Credit Canada
Credit Canada is a not-for-profit credit counselling agency providing free and confidential debt and credit counselling, personal debt management, debt consolidation and resolutions, as well as preventative counselling, educational seminars, and free tips and tools in the areas of budgeting, money management, and financial goal-setting. Credit Canada is Canada’s first and longest-standing credit counselling agency and a leader in financial wellness, helping Canadians successfully manage their debt since 1966. Please visit www.creditcanada.com for more information and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Credit Canada SADD Index
From January 9th to January 12th, 2020 an online survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,502 Canadians. Respondents are members of the Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, the sample plan would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Contact for more information:
Holly Brennan, MAVERICK
Office: 416-640-5525 x 240
Mobile: 647-926-4333
Email: hollyb@wearemaverick.com