What Does the Average Canadian Budget Look Like?

What Does the Average Canadian Budget Look Like?

Written by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated June 3, 2021

How you spend your money plays a large role in the overall health of your finances, too much spending, too many expenses and too many maxed out credit cards will all affect your ability to pay down debt, save for the future and cover unexpected costs. Obviously living within your means and creating a household budget will allow you to be both financially responsible and successful and potentially allow you to avoid many of these money issues.

We want to know how Canadians spend their money. What does the average Canadian budget look like and is it as frugal and well managed as we think or hope it is?

The follow statistics are taken from the Statistic Canada website, for more information about these statistics and all issues that concern Canadians visit their website here.

The Numbers

Canadians have both needs and wants and just like most populations from around the world, they’re willing to spend their hard earn money to have them. According to Statistics Canada, in 2013 the average Canadian household spent $79,012 in total. $58,592 of that was on consumption, this means it was used to purchase household items like food, shelter and transportation.

ExpenseAmountPercentage
Food7,98013.62%
Shelter16,38727.97%
Household Operations4,3287.39%
Furniture/ Equipment1,9923.40%
Clothing3,5506.06%
Transportation12,04120.55%
Healthcare2,4074.11%
Personal Care1,2292.10%
Recreation3,9226.69%
Education1,5182.59%
Printed Material (books, newspapers)1830.31%
Tobacco/ Alcohol1,3312.27%
Gambling1600.27%
Miscellaneous1,5632.67%

Budget Break Down

Generally speaking the majority of the annual household expenses are for necessary goods and services. With expenses like recreation, tobacco and alcohol and gambling being a part of the minority categories. It’s also important to note that these are the numbers for 2013 and will more than likely change and develop as the needs of the population change and develop.

Top 3 Expenses

  1. The primary expense for the average Canadian household is shelter. On average we spend 27.97% of our total expenses on our homes; this of course includes all types of home costs, from mortgage payments to rent.
  2. Unsurprisingly the second-highest expense is transportation. With 20.55% going toward budgeting for our cars, gas and public transportation.
  3. Food comes in as the third-largest expense. We spend 13.62% of our total expenses on food.

How Does Your Budget Compare?

Do you have a household budget (hint, you definitely need one)? How goes it compare to the budget of the average Canadian household? Understanding how the average Canadian household budget works is a great way to gauge your own budget and spending habits but it doesn’t mean that your own budget is wrong or flawed if you spend more or less than average on certain categories. The real estate market is different in every city and province therefor the amount you spend on shelter and accommodations will be excitedly different from someone who lives in another location. It’s all relative, so the best thing you can do for yourself and your finances is to create a budget that allows you to live within your means and opens up as many financial opportunities as possible for you in the future.


Rating of 3/5 based on 23 votes.

Caitlin Wood is the Editor-in-Chief at Loans Canada and specializes in personal finance. She is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University and has been working in the personal finance industry for over eight years. Caitlin has covered various subjects such as debt, credit, and loans. Her work has been published on Zoocasa, GoDaddy, and deBanked. She believes that education and knowledge are the two most important factors in the creation of healthy financial habits. She also believes that openly discussing money and credit, and the responsibilities that come with them can lead to better decisions and a greater sense of financial security.

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