Sask. residents taking out loans, holding off on paying bills to cope with inflation: survey

·2 min read
A new survey found Saskatchewan residents are holding off on paying bills and changing vacation plans, among other tactics, to cope with increasing costs.   (Shutterstock - image credit)
A new survey found Saskatchewan residents are holding off on paying bills and changing vacation plans, among other tactics, to cope with increasing costs. (Shutterstock - image credit)

Saskatoon mom Tammy Gale worries about getting healthy food for her family as prices soar.

"Everyday going shopping gets more and more expensive," Gale said.

"Regular things like cauliflower and broccoli have just increased so much and it's been hard to find them and get them at a good price."

Gale has been meal prepping more, looking at flyers for the latest deals and driving less.

CBC
CBC

Many Saskatchewan residents are feeling the price pinch at the grocery store and at the pumps.

A new survey found that about seven in 10 respondents are worried about their ability to pay for everything they need in the next six months.

"That's a pretty large proportion of Saskatchewan residents who are sounding the alarm bells," said Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research (CHASR) director Jason Disano.

Approximately 7 out of 10 respondents expressed some concern about their household's ability to pay for everything they need

In partnership with CBC Saskatchewan, CHASR at the University of Saskatchewan surveyed 400 people from June 1 to June 10. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

The survey found people are coping with inflation by changing their transportation habits, cutting back on leisure activities and hobbies, remortgaging their houses or moving to less expensive housing, and using food banks and community fridges.

How people are coping with increasing costs

Younger people disproportionately impacted

The survey found that people aged 18 to 34 are disproportionately feeling the impact of high inflation.

They're more likely than any other age group to change vacation plans, take out a loan, hold off on paying bills, get another job and sell personal possessions.

"What we're finding is for young folks who are just getting established, getting into the job market, purchasing a home, inflation is adding more problems," Disano said.

Jessi Bolton, 19, who works at a Saskatoon truck company, said her grocery bills have doubled.

"I'm working a nine to five job, but it's hard to keep up," she said.

Premier Scott Moe has hinted at the possibility of giving residents a consumer rebate if natural resources prices remain high.

"We would look for ways to return that in potentially one way or another, maybe through debt reduction, maybe through some dollars flowing to the Saskatchewan people," Moe said on Monday.

Deputy Prime Minister and federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland recently outlined $8.9 billion in financial supports to help Canadians deal with rising inflation.

WATCH Freeland details $8.9 billion dollars in economic supports for Canadians:

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