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July 10, 2021

Just how long could you go without a paycheque?

According to a recent survey, 27% of Americans have no money at all in savings.

In addition to those who admit to having nothing in the bank, less than 25% reported having the recommended six months of living expenses stashed in the bank and fewer than 50% had even three months of living expenses tucked away.

Are Canadians any more frugal? Apparently not. A recent poll from the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada indicates that 29% of households here find it difficult to sock away any money once key bills were paid.

So much so that 47% admit they'd be in dire straits if their pay cheque was delayed as little as a week.


Most people say that their bills eat up most of their available cash every month, leaving them very little room to save. In fact, they've been living paycheque-to-paycheque for a awhile now.

However, observers like Gail Vaz-Oxlade insist that trimming expenses in order to free up cash for saving is do-able for most people; in fact, it’s essential to prioritize saving over non-essential expenses, the host of personal finance reality TV series like Til Debt do us Part and Money Moron maintains.

More on MSN Money:

But that's often tough to do. Whether they're wastrels, abandoned spouses or simply down on their luck, sometimes living paycheque to paycheque is not a matter of crazy spending however; it's a simple case of math.

Toronto resident Jimohal Francis says he tries to save. But, even though he's splitting rent and utilities with his aunt, he not getting anywhere: “Sometimes I find it very hard to save. It’s still hard to pay the bills and to get by.”

Are you saving any money? Just how long could you go without a paycheque? Are things looking better or worse than they were a year or two ago?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...