Canadians on average are socking away more money for potential financial emergencies than in the past, but a BMO survey finds that almost a quarter are still living paycheque to paycheque.
Further, Canadians on average have $41,694 in emergency savings, up from an average of $35,237 in 2014.
However, 24% of respondents say they had hardly anything set aside and more than half (56%), reported having less than $10,000 in emergency funds.
Christine Canning, head of everyday banking at BMO, describes the ideal emergency savings fund as one that can replace three to six months of income. She adds an emergency fund represents more than just a cushion, saying it can provide peace of mind and help reduce the risk of increased debt if a financial emergency does come along.
By region, the survey found that those in Atlantic Canada had the lowest average amount of emergency funds set aside at $20,152, with only 8% having more than $50,000 available and 27% with between $10,000 and $49,900.
B.C. residents had the most set aside, an average $70,364, with 21% having $50,000 or more and 14% between $10,000 and $49,900.
Elsewhere, the average amount set aside totalled $24,671 in Quebec, $41,088 in Ontario, $67,605 in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and $40,341 in Alberta.