Where inflation-pinched Canadians are changing their spending

Ipsos' Inflation Tracker finds Gen X is the most likely to be cutting back.

Gen Xers are the most likely generation to scale back on transportation and entertainment-related expenses, while middle-income earners of all ages are the ones saving the most across categories.

That’s according to Ipsos Reid’s Inflation Tracker, which monitors the impact of inflation on consumer behavior, attitudes and emotions.

Among the latest findings are that while Gen Xers are keeping an eye on spending, it’s actually Gen Z that is doing more in terms of actively creating budgets and meeting with financial advisors.

In fact, 23% of Gen Zers are creating budgets, compared to 16% of their Gen X counterparts and 19% of their Millennial colleagues.

But at 25%, Gen Xers are doing the most to limit their entertainment activities to mitigate the impact of inflation, in comparison to just 15% of Boomers. Gen X is also most likely to cut back on travel, at 30%.

In fact, Boomers seem to be showing the most complacency in the face of near four-decade-long inflation highs. According to the Inflation Tracker, 50% of Boomers are doing none of the aforementioned spend mitigations, compared with 40% of Gen Z/Gen X and 38% of millennials who aren’t making changes. Among those that are looking to save, travel seems to be the most common place they look, at 27%.

Cancelling some kind of subscription service is the least popular place to save money across generations: 16% of Gen Z, 13% of Millennials and 14% of Gen X say they are open to doing so.

The data reveals 24% of medium- and low-income Canadians expect to spend less on clothing, footwear and accessories in the month ahead.

However, it’s spending on food that’s revealing the biggest gulf: Lower income earners are the ones really reeling from heightened food prices and their net spending downgrade of 19% is greatly outpacing high income earners (2%).

But overall, it’s medium-income earners that are downshifting their spends most. They are dialing back food/ordering-in expenses (28%, versus 19% for low income and 25% for high income), electronics (18%, versus 10% low income and 9% for high income) and alcohol consumption (17%, versus 15% for low income and 9% for high income).