With the economy faltering, it seems everyone is saving less money lately. This, according to a recent ING International Survey, which found that 47 percent of Canadians and 48 percent of Americans have less in their savings accounts than they used to. What's more, researchers found that 33 percent of Canadians feel they'll likely dip into their savings over the next 12 months, compared to 29 percent of Americans and 18 percent of Western European residents. "Across the board, we are seeing that people's saving behavior has changed significantly following the global financial crisis," said Ian Bright, senior economist, ING. "Several developed economies are struggling to regain previous rates of growth and levels of employment, and the long run effects of the crisis have shifted people's attitudes towards how they live and how they view their financial future." Furthermore, 50 percent of Canadians ranked rent, mortgage and housing costs as their top monthly expenditures. Fifty-four percent of Americans also felt housing expenses were their most pressing financial issue. This is important to note because alternative credit
agencies such as PBRC take into account factors such as past payments on rent, cable and utilities when determining credit-worthiness.