How Saskatchewan residents spent their money in 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic has created a roller coaster in many aspects of life.

Financial data collected by Moneris comparing the spending habits of Saskatchewan residents in 2021 to those in 2020 confirms this sentiment. These spending habits have also created two types of consumers.

“Whoever came out of the pandemic really well: working from home, working remotely, lost all the expenses associated with travel and parking and that kind of stuff and the paycheck just kept coming,” said University of Regina associate professor of economics Jason Childs.

“Then you have another group of people who have struggled during the pandemic. Many of them are small business owners and such.

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Restrictions and mandates have left the public with few options on how to spend their money, which has caused a drastic change in buying habits.

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“Just what’s open and what’s not and what people are comfortable with, so you have both sides of that. What’s available? And I think the people’s attitude towards what they want to do has changed as a result of the shutdowns and pandemic fears and that sort of thing, so that’s going to be reflected in their shopping habits,” Childs said.

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For those who could afford it, this caused what is called substitution expenses. For example, Moneris data shows a 47% increase over 2020 in household spending just between January and March 2021.

“Right from the start, you could see that people were investing in their homes because that’s where they spent a lot of time. So it could be anything of a sudden you need to have a space for your kids to do home schooling or you need a place for your home office or whatever either,” said Moneris Vice President of Products Marta Rzeszowska.

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As businesses reopened between April and June 2021, spending on health and beauty spas increased 181% year over year, according to Moneris. Meanwhile, golf courses, gyms and studios have all seen spending rise 60% from 2020, when many businesses were closed.

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In 2021, Saskatchewan saw demand like never before for golf tee times and outdoor sports equipment as well as gyms and health services as businesses opened and closed due to pandemic mandates.

But there are spending habits that experts say will survive the pandemic.

“Health services are going to be there and permanent and we are going to see an increase and a change as the population ages and we deal with the fallout on our health from being in lockdown for two years,” Childs said.

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As we continue into 2022, another spending shift is expected to take place.

“A lot of these activities that people have picked up are done in isolation. Humans are social animals, so I think we’re going to get back to spending more time with each other rather quickly than alone in isolation with a hobby,” Childs said.

Moneris says it’s encouraged by what Saskatchewan’s 2021 spending data means for the economy going forward.

“Consumers are ready to get back into the market, and once we lift the restrictions, we anticipate that will actually move in a really positive direction and that means people are happy to go out and more specifically also support their community,” Rzeszowska said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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