A new report from the Vanier institute in Ottawa has found that the average familiy debt in Canada has now passed $100 000. This represents, on average, 150% of what this “average” family makes in a year. And the trend is still getting worse.

This research paints a stark picture of financial life for the average working Canadian. With stagnating wages, rapidly rising costs and diminishing savings, it’s getting harder and harder for even “successful” people to make ends meet.

“No one has pensions anymore, mortgages are bigger than ever, there’s just more things tugging at our money,” he said. “Putting your kid through university is a six-figure price tag and no one is ready for it.”

-Kurt Rosentreter, “Family CFO”

“Experts” are quick to blame this all on a lack of “financial planning” knowledge among the public. And with the explosion of consumer debt among young people, it’s hard not to believe that plays a role. But “better financial planning” doesn’t make up for losing your job, pension, or having expenses like education and housing double in price. The cost of living is going up and that’s not something that can happen to millions of people without consequences.

These kinds of financial pressures are not sustainable. Socially, they put us on a path straight for the kind of revolt and unrest seen so recently in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, where pensions, unemployment, tuitions and other basic cost-of-living issues have destabilized entire regions. Economically, these are the same pressures which recently sent the global economy into a nosedive. Another such crash (suspected by many to be on its way), would hit far harder than the last – all the easy credit solutions have already been tried and now are yet more liabilities. Unless these debts are dealt with, like our booming national debts and those of others, we will all be doomed to suffer an increasingly unaffordable cost of money.

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