Numbers crunched by Statistics Canada throughout 1998 to 2021 have shown that women earn only 89 cents on average for every dollar earned by men. This means that the average woman has less income at her disposal to save and invest for life goals such as retirement at a certain age. Consistent with this finding, BMO Financial Group’s special report found that an overwhelming majority of women (87%) reported a fear of unknown expenses, while nearly one in three (63%) revealed that just keeping up with monthly bills caused them anxiety.
BMO Financial Group head of everyday banking and customer growth, Gayle Ramsay, pointed out that the cost of inflation, as well as the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, “significantly affected” many women in terms of both their financial circumstances and their confidence in them.
“[It’s] understandable that they are feeling the need to rebuild their savings and feeling less confident about retiring at the age they had planned,” Ramsay said. “Financial planning and financial literacy are imperative when navigating finances to ensure customers are making real financial progress.”
BMO offered some tips to help Canadians take control of their finances:
- Be aware about incoming and outgoing money flow to ensure you are making the financial progress needed to achieve your short and long-term goals. Among your ongoing expenses, negotiate lower prices where possible and reduce those you don’t use often.
- Establish and build credit and take advantage of credit building solutions such as a credit-building loan.
- Plan for large purchases like a vehicle, appliance, or trip abroad.
- Pay down debt with the highest interest rate first.
- Speak with a financial advisor to make sure your savings, payment patterns, and financial tools are aligned with your goals.
“At BMO, we provide a wide range of tools and services that can help customers manage their day-to-day cashflow and establish savings goals that will provide women with the confidence to achieve their financial goals,” Ramsay said. “Free digital banking tools and apps like Savings Goals … and BMO CashTrack help track spending patterns and set financial goals. If customers are looking for more guidance, BMO offers real financial progress checks. Just go into your branch and a banker can … give advice based on your individual situation.”