Many Ontarians believe they’ll be accumulating more personal debt over the next year, with a majority saying their savings aren’t enough to cover unexpected expenses.

According to an Ipsos poll, 56 per cent of Ontarians believe they will be able to cover basic household costs next year without taking on any more debt, while 44 per cent believe they will need to increase their debt to do so.

Additionally, 65 per cent of Ontarians say they would need to borrow money to cover the cost of an unexpected car repair. The percentage grows for other unexpected changes, like a divorce (66 per cent), a pay cut at work (70 per cent) or a death in the family (72 per cent).

Other findings from the poll include:

  • 31 per cent of respondents say their debt situation has improved over the past five years
  • Men are more confident than women that they will be able to weather major life changes without taking on debt
  • Millennials and Generation X members are much more likely than baby boomers to be worried about losing their jobs

MNP LTD, which commissioned the poll, says people should keep their savings large enough to cover three to six months’ worth of expenses in order to avoid bankruptcies and other financial emergencies.