In the 3 years leading up to the pandemic, household savings rates in Canada bounced between 1.3% and 3.6%. As the Canadian economy began to close and families had to stay at home, those rates surged to a high of 28.2% in July of 2020 before settling more recently in the 13% range. Canadian households ‘normally’ have a collective savings reserve of around 40 Billion, but that amount has risen to around 200 billion over the past 18 months. During that time the debt to income ratio for Canadian households has fallen with most managing to reduce indebtedness while living within their means.
What remains to be seen is to what degree these new savings habits will persist. To the degree that they have not been self-imposed, the reopening of our economy may see a return to former spending habits. Economists are counting on it as are many investors.
But what would happen if Christians take a different approach? What if our pandemic ‘time-out’ has taught us to distinguish between those things that we simply want and those which we actually need. Living beneath one’s means is a Biblical principle. It allows us to give more generously to those in need. It creates a surplus which contributes to peace of mind and in many cases marital harmony. It frees up money that we didn’t know we had, to be put to work in evangelism and benevolence.
There is a pent up demand all around us for more and more of this world’s goods. The felt needs of our world rarely turn in the direction of heaven. But the real needs of a world lost in sin have never been anything else. Let us determine to use our new found resources for the advance of the gospel and the saving of lost souls.