Less is more: Majority of Canadians want to simplify their lives, poll finds


Canadians from coast-to-coast agree: it’s time to simplify their lives, finds a new survey from Simplii Financial.  Whether it’s clearing up clutter, getting a handle on email, or reducing the time spent on routine tasks such as laundry or grocery shopping, the vast majority of Canadians (87 per cent) want life to be more simple.

“Canadians are finding life too busy in many ways and want fewer burdens and more joy. The start of the year is the perfect time to put a plan in place to reduce wasted time and energy and clear the way for what really counts,” says Corby Fine, Vice-President at Simplii Financial. “Think about how you can do less – less clutter, less waste, less spending – to do more of what you want in the year ahead.”

According to the 87 per cent of Canadians who want to simplify their lives, the top things that drain time, money and energy are:

    • laundry, chores and home maintenance (47 per cent)
    • grocery shopping (40 per cent)
    • cluttered living space (40 per cent)
    • fitness regime (39 per cent)
    • garage, basement or storage locker (37 per cent)

In addition, 29 per cent of Canadians say they would benefit from simplifying their banking and their bill payments while 26 per cent say their email inboxes are in need of some attention.

Everyday tasks take up a lot of time for Canadians, the survey found. While two-thirds say they spend an hour or more on routine activities such as getting the laundry done, some admit they spend up to 20 minutes just choosing a restaurant (49 per cent), what to eat for dinner (51 per cent), or which show to watch over the weekend (38 per cent).

Young Canadians look to digital time and energy savers

While nearly all Canadians agree they’re up for anything that keeps things simple and saves them time and money (88 per cent), younger Canadians (18-34) are almost two times more likely than those aged 55+ to embrace/adopt digital tools to make it happen. In fact, in the past 12 months, the vast majority of young Canadians have opted for a digital option to tackle everything from grocery shopping, to getting customer service or advice, to pre-ordering a coffee.

What’s more, when it comes to money, a third (36 per cent) of those aged 18-34 say they’ve transferred money online to someone in the past week alone, compared to 24 per cent of those aged 35-54 and only 14 per cent of those aged 55+. Almost one in three millennials (29 per cent) say they’ve never even written a cheque.

While 70 per cent of them still carry some cash, younger Canadians are more likely to say it’s for emergencies only, preferring to pay digitally wherever and whenever possible.

“One thing we never seem to have enough of is time, and we’re seeing more and more Canadians embrace digital ways to get things done, from ordering groceries to paying the babysitter or opening up a savings account and applying for a loan or credit card,” says Fine. “These small changes can add up to significant time, energy and cost savings as well.”

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