More Canadians building rainy day funds; Albertans the biggest savers

More Canadians are setting aside money for a rainy day in the current recession compared to the boom times of two years ago, a new survey shows.

More Canadians are setting aside money for a rainy day in the current recession compared to the boom times of two years ago, a new survey shows.

A survey for HSBC suggests that 84 per cent of Canadians have some savings put aside for the future or an emergency. That’s up dramatically from 67 per cent when the survey was done two years ago.

The survey showed Albertans are the best with their money, with 92 per cent saying they have some savings, followed by Manitoba and Saskatchewan at 89 per cent, Ontario at 86 per cent, British Columbia at 84 per cent and Quebec at 80 per cent.

Atlantic Canada has the lowest rate of savers at 77 per cent, the survey said.

HSBC said the money being socked away includes savings accounts and RRSP investments.

“It is not surprising that Canadians are becoming increasingly cautious about not only how and when they spend their hard earned dollars these days, but also how and where they save,” HSBC senior vice-president Rick Kelln said.

Not only are savings rates up, but so are the options available to Canadians, including the new tax-free savings accounts.

Kelln said the once oil-rich consumers of Alberta may be the best savers because they have more disposable income.

“Or, it could be that they have more history with the economy going up and down,” Kelln said, adding they understand the importance of saving for bad times.

The survey of 1,000 Canadians in February was conducted by market research firm Opinion Search and has a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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