Evolving impact measurement: why new measures of financial health, resilience and well-being matter
In light of the intersections between economic, social and environmental factors impacting the well-being of Canadians, and the fact that the pandemic has affected households unevenly, an enhanced understanding of households’ financial resilience [and financial vulnerability] can help policymakers and other stakeholders in advancing financial well-being and economic opportunities for Canadians.
The financial well-being studies for Canada and Seymour Financial Resilience Index highlight inequities for households evidenced through the Index, which in turn impact the financial well-being and overall well-being of Canadian individuals and families.
The Index highlights a financial resilience ‘gap’ and inequities for households, with significant differences in the financial resilience scores, challenges and reported consumer and financial behaviours of different households. More financially vulnerable households are found to be more challenged in terms of their well-being across all well-being dimensions: including their financial well-being, emotional well-being and physical health. Our research and longitudinal impact measurement align with Canada’s Quality of Life Framework, in which health, prosperity, financial well-being, fairness and inclusion, and sustainability and resilience are all important. It also aligns with the vision and impact goals of many Financial Institutions and other committed organizations that strive to make positive impact in the lives of their customers/ citizens, employees, families and communities.
Seymour Consulting has published many report framing financial well-being and making the case for why measurement on new indicators of financial health, resilience/ vulnerability and financial stress/ wellness are important. There is a strong connection between financial well-being and the overall well-being of individuals, families, well-communities and our economy.
The Financial Well-Being studies and Seymour Financial Resilience Index TM highlight that financial stress, and financial vulnerability, is a mainstream issue for Canada, despite it being one of the richest countries in the world.
Click here for our latest e-brief on the well-being and financial well-being of Canadians: and how financial vulnerable households are more challenged as a result financial stress (April 2021). More information and insights will shortly be available through our joint Statistics Canada <> Seymour Consulting report on the financial resilience and financial well-being of Canadians during the Covid-19 pandemic [coming soon].
Defining financial health, resilience and wellness within the overall construct of financial well-being
Seymour’s Financial Well-Being Framework
There are three inter-related constructs that we define and measure through our financial well-being framework and national independent Financial Well-Being studies for Canada (2017-2021)
Financial health is about your ability to balance your financial needs of today with those of tomorrow, as a result of decisions and behaviours that move you forward.
Through our FHI studies and Index, here we measure many consumer and financial behaviours, such as the extent to which households plan ahead for upcoming expenses, save towards longer term goals, or manage debt. These behaviours span the spectrum of daily financial management, debt/ credit management; saving planning and investing, and protection.
Financial resilience is about your ability to get through financial hardship, financial stressors or ‘shocks’ as a result of unplanned life events.
Here we measure different aspects that impact households’ resilience or cause financial vulnerability, including access to social capital in times of financial hardship, or available liquid savings buffers.
The Seymour Financial Resilience Index TM created in May 2020 measures consumer financial resilience at the national, provincial, segment and individual household level.
Financial wellness is about your emotional peace of mind in terms of your financial situation and current and future financial obligations. The opposite is financial stress.
Here we measure many financial stress and debt stress indicators and aspects, including related to household’s financial stress over their current and future financial obligations; extent to which households are struggling with their debt levels or needing to resort to predatory lending to get through; and the extent to which financial stress is impacting physical health, mental health, productivity and performance at work, relationships and/or causing a sense of isolation.
In addition to many consumer and financial behaviours, we also measure people’s confidence in their financial decisions; access (and barriers) to financial education, service and help; whether Canadians have accepted Government Covid-19 relief or not and/or mortgage or loan deferral programs from their Financial Institution and many other aspects that impact Canadians’ financial health, wellness, resilience and financial well-being.
The ability to balance your financial needs of today with those of tomorrow, as a result of decisions and behaviours that move you forward
The ability to get through financial hardship, financial stressors or ‘shocks’ as a result of unplanned life events
Emotional emotional peace of mind in terms of your financial situation and current and future financial obligations. The opposite is financial stress
Cross-sector collaboration can help build a financially resilient, inclusive and equitable Canada.
Financial health and resilience is vital to overall emotional and physical wellbeing, family stability and people achieving their life goals – not just for today but for generations to come. Cross-sector collaboration can help address complex issues and support the financial resilience, and overall resilience of Canadian households, businesses and communities.
Seymour Consulting has a number of collaborative partnerships to help drive positive impact at scale. Please contact if you are interested in being a partner or would like to explore collaboration opportunities.