Ottawa·In Depth

Debt becomes us

CBC Ottawa takes a look at the mounting consumer debt, how residents get into deep debt, how to deal with that debt and success stories about those who have escaped debt.

The lost art of frugality

10 years ago
Duration 3:14
Former Ottawa high-tech worker Mr. Money Mustache has attracted a following preaching the benefits of fiscal responsibility.

Visit here to check out our series, Debt Becomes Us.

We featured stories on why Ottawa residents carry too much consumer debt, the dilemma for impending retirees and their debt, and introduce you to two Ottawans who are escaping debt by bucking the trend and who plan on retiring by age 40. 

Tuesday, Sept. 4: Canadians with big debts worry about interest rate

Wednesday, Sept. 5: Ottawa woman's debt delays retirement

Thursday, Sept. 6: Former Ottawa worker embraces lost art of frugality 

You can also check out a transcript of our web chat from Sept. 6 with financial blogger Mr. Money Mustache, by clicking this link. 

We also want to hear your stories about defeating debt. Please email them to and we might share them online here.

Canadians are carrying, on average, $26,221 of consumer debt. That's the highest amount since 2004.

See below for the numbers across the provinces.

Average consumer debt, by province
Q2 2011Q2 2012Change
British Columbia$36,820$37,8792.9%
New Brunswick$21,547$23,0456.9%
Nova Scotia$23,161$24,2554.7%
Prince Edward Island$22,807$23,9312.4%
Newfoundland and Labrador$23,353$24,4954.9%
(Source: TransUnion)