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TD survey finds recent working post-secondary graduates are anxious or overwhelmed about living with their new financial reality

TORONTO, May 15, 2017 /CNW/ - Graduation is an exciting time but it can also bring high financial expectations that don't always match reality. A competitive job market, lower-than-anticipated income and higher-than-expected costs are just some of the realities facing post-secondary graduates, leaving many with a negative "grad-itude". A TD survey found that the top financial pressures facing recent working post-secondary graduates are desires to become financially independent (52 per cent), to save money so they can live on their own (39 per cent) and concern over re-payment of their student debt (23 per cent). In addition, 60 per cent often felt guilty spending money on things they wanted versus using the money for other financial commitments, such as debt repayment, when they first started working.

"Today's graduates are ambitious and motivated, but the realities of the job market can lead to feelings of financial pressure and guilt when they're unable to afford many of the things they want," said Sue MacDonald, Associate Vice President of Everyday Banking Products at TD Bank Group. "Setting realistic and manageable goals and seeking advice from a trusted source such as a financial advisor is key to tackling new financial realities and starting off on the right financial foot."

One of the biggest challenges for new graduates is the fact that two in five (41 per cent) found that it took up to one year to find a job. Once employed, 41 per cent say they earned less than they had anticipated, with many facing unexpected expenses, such as transportation or commuting (33 per cent), meals (25 per cent) and buying a work-appropriate wardrobe (23 per cent). It's hardly surprising then, that almost half (47 per cent) of recent graduates say they feel anxious or overwhelmed at having to manage their finances on their own.

TD offers the following advice to help graduates reduce stress and still be able to have some fun as they transition to the next phase of life:

Make a plan: What are your short- and long-term financial goals? These can include paying down debt, such as student or personal loans, saving enough money to get a place of your own, or building up a nest egg so you feel financially independent. Decide what's most important to you and build a plan and speak to a financial advisor at your local branch who can help you with a strategy to achieve your goals.

Set and stick to a budget: Living within your means is always important, especially when discovering new financial realities of post-student life. Remember, you'll no longer be eligible for student discounts on things like transit passes, memberships or bank accounts. Setting and sticking to a budget and really asking yourself what is essential – like rent and debt repayment – versus what is a want – like travel or a new car – will help keep you on track. Once your budget is set, remember to track your spending. Money management apps, like the TD MySpend app, can be helpful tools since they help keep TD customers aware of certain types of transactions on eligible TD accounts and credit cards, and also provides notifications of spend transactions in real-time to help stay on budget.

Look for fun ways to save: Now that you're earning an income, it's an ideal time to establish new financial habits to help you save extra money that will help you reach your long term financial goals. When it comes to creative ways to stretch your dollar, below is some food for thought:

  • Plan and prep your meals for the week to reduce the temptation of eating out, or try creating your favourite restaurant's dishes at home
  • Go for a coffee date instead of dinner or drinks
  • Sign up for an old-fashioned library card instead of buying books; most libraries also have apps for digital book rentals
  • Fake it till you make it by buying gently used or vintage clothing instead of expensive designer outfits
  • Work part-time at a gym or fitness studio in exchange for free classes
  • Rent a car only when you need it instead of leasing or buying one
  • Keep living like a student and save the rest of your money; if you didn't need the lavish lifestyle before, there's no reason to start it now

Don't try and keep up with others: Everyone's financial reality is different. Avoid trying to keep up with friends or colleagues who may be posting their lavish lifestyles on social media. It's important to know how much discretionary spending you can afford based on your own situation, rather than trying to keep up with everyone else.

For more information, please visit

About the TD Graduates and Finances Survey
TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research to conduct a custom survey of 6,020 Canadians aged 18 and older. Responses were collected between February 9 and 16, 2017. The results cited in this release are based on the responses from 4,135 graduates of post-secondary studies who found a job after graduation, 704 of those who are considered recent graduates (Class of 2012 – 2016).

About TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over 1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For more information, please visit: TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America. Mutual Funds Representatives with TD Investment Services Inc. distribute mutual funds at TD Canada Trust.

SOURCE TD Canada Trust

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