Ten things we learned about Canadians and their money

What we think about credit cards, taxing foreign home buyers and giving to charity

For The Canada Project, we asked 1,500 people for their views on a wide range of issues—including money. In partnership with Abacus Data, we asked respondents about their views on credit cards, tipping and charity. Here are 10 results worth noting:

1. Most Canadians would need to scramble for emergency funds. 

    Thirty-four per cent of Canadians could come up with less than $1,000 right away without borrowing or using credit and 24 per cent could come up with between $1,000 and $5,000. But only 21 per cent would be able to find $25,000 or more. Men are also much more likely than women to have $25K lying around, with 26 per cent saying they could find the cash compared with 16%.

    2. We are not especially generous tippers!
    Fifty-four per cent leave a tip between 11 per cent and 15 per cent of the bill for good service, while 18% would leave 10% or less. These numbers are similar across generations, provinces, and genders.

    3. We’re not looking to drive sports cars
    Thirty-eight per cent of Canadians think that $20,000-$29,999 is a fair price for a family vehicle.

    RELATED: The Canada Project: 24 Facts for Canada 150

    4. We support charity
    More than seven-in-ten Canadians made a charitable donation in the past year. Millennials are least likely to give, with only 59 per cent saying they donated. Albertans are the most likely to donate, with 81 per cent saying they’d made a contribution.

    5. We believe friends and money don’t mix.
    Three-quarters of Canadians have never borrowed a significant amount of money from friends or family. Parents with children under age 10 are most likely to have borrowed cash, with 37% having done it.

    6. We’re a no-name nation.
    Sixty-four percent of Canadians are happy to use no-name products and save money. Immigrants are most likely to spend more on name brands (55%).

    7. We’re banking on retirement
    Sixty-two per cent of Canadians are somewhat confident or very confident that they will be able to retire at age 65. Gen X-ers are the least confident generation, with only 50% believing they’ll be financially ready to retire.

    The Canada Project

    8. We love our plastic
    Forty-four per cent of us like pay with a credit card while 37 per cent prefer debit. Only 17 per cent like to use cold, hard cash.
    9. We support a tax on foreign home buyers
    Three quarters of Canadians support a foreign buyers’ tax for residential properties. Men are more likely to support the idea, with 80 per cent backing the policy compared with 71 per cent of women.

    10. We think we’re middle class
    Seventy-four per cent of Canadians consider themselves to be middle class. Residents of Ontario are least likely to consider themselves middle class, with just  (68%), while families living with children are most likely (84%).

    Looking for more?

    Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.