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More Manitobans saving, but high percentage spending beyond means

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Fewer Manitobans are living paycheque to paycheque, but a high percentage of them are also spending beyond their means, according to a new survey by the Canadian Payroll Association.

The survey found 42 per cent of the employed Manitobans who responded to an online survey said they’re living payday to payday this year, compared with 53 per cent in 2012.

That’s one of the lowest percentage rates in the country, second only to Quebec’s 24 per cent. It was also bang on with the national average.

Manitoba also boasted the highest number of employees who were trying to save more money, at 77 per cent. That’s nearly 10 percentage points above the national average of 68 per cent.

And it had the second-lowest number who said they were saving only five per cent or less of their pay, at 37 per cent. The national average of 45 per cent.

But along with the good news were some troubling results.

For example, Manitoba had one of the highest rates of people who are spending all of, or more, than their net pay, at 47 per cent, the association said. The only region with a higher rate was Atlantic Canada at 53 per cent, while the national average was only 40 per cent.

Seventy-four per cent of the Manitoba respondents also said they’ve saved less than a quarter of their retirement goal. That was the third highest rate in the country, and a notch above the national average of 73 per cent.

The association said it’s "disturbing" that 47 per cent of the Canadian respondents age 50 or older are still less than a quarter of the way to their retirement savings goals.

"There is a huge gap between how much money people say they will need to retire and how much they are actually saving for retirement," it said.

A total of 2,863 employees responded to the online poll, which was conducted between July 26 and August 16. The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population like traditional telephone polls.

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