You may say I’m a dreamer — or can you? Canadians’ bucket lists are more practical than you think, says new CIBC Poll

A new CIBC poll finds that 81 per cent of Canadians have a bucket list of things they hope to accomplish one day — but more than two-in-five (41 per cent) say practical goals are more important than the indulgent ones.

Canadians’ Bucket List (CNW Group/CIBC)
Canadians’ Bucket List (CNW Group/CIBC)

The poll shows that when asked which bucket list is more important to them, Canadians say goals such as paying down debt take precedence over ones such as travelling or pursuing a passion. Interestingly, while two-in-five (39 per cent) are saving for both their bucket lists, more than one-third (36 per cent) are not saving at all for any item on their bucket list.

Among those planning to accomplish a bucket list item:

  • The top dream bucket list item is to travel/take a vacation (65 per cent), with Western Europe being the most popular destination (61 per cent)
  • The top practical bucket list item is to become debt-free (55 per cent)
  • 61 per cent plan on paying for their bucket list items using cash and savings, as well as credit card (14 per cent) or a line of credit/loan (7 per cent)
  • 41 per cent hope to make positive lifestyle changes, including taking up a new sport or focusing more on their health

Millennials are saving, but not the most effectively

The poll findings also show that 19 per cent of millennials are saving for their practical bucket list, with more than half (55 per cent) saying paying off debt is their top priority. However, the majority of them are saving in ways that may take them longer than others, with more than half (59 per cent) using either their personal chequing account or keeping cash at home as their method of saving.

“When putting money aside for a specific goal in mind, it’s crucial to do it in the most effective way. Look for ways of saving that will help grow your money, such as a savings account, RRSP or TSFA. This way, your money has the opportunity to earn interest so you can reach your goals sooner rather than later,” said Ms. Lucreziano.

On average, millennials are saving the lowest amongst all Canadians for both bucket lists, with roughly a total of $11,000 being saved for their dream bucket list, and roughly $14,900 for their practical bucket list thus far.

Additional quick tips:

  • Write down a detailed plan including what you hope to accomplish and a target date for when you want to accomplish it by. You can then work backwards and calculate how much needs to be saved regularly (each year, each month, or each week) in order to have enough saved by the time you reach the date of your goal
  • Have auto-deductions set up so money is automatically transferred over to a savings account, making saving easy
  • Try cutting out some unnecessary expenses, and instead put that money towards your bucket list

Other key findings:

  • For their practical bucket list, 37 per cent of Canadians are saving on a monthly basis, compared to their dream bucket list, with 33 per cent contributing only when they have extra funds
  • 35 per cent of Boomers hope to undertake home renovations, while an early retirement is among the top of the list for Gen X (40 per cent)
  • Two-thirds (68 per cent) of Canadians describe themselves as ‘I like to be responsible but leave a little room for fun’