Here’s what two full hours of fretting about your finances look like.
By Anne Gaviola
Australia is burning, both the U.S. and Iran can be wrong, and people keep expecting me to have an opinion on #Megxit. As if there isn’t enough to stress about in the world, you can add your finances to the pile.
Young Canadians worry about money 2.4 hours a day—more than older people do, according to a Scotiabank poll out Tuesday.
More than 70 percent of people aged 18-34 find it challenging to save, invest, and pay down debt. We know that personal debt is the norm; according to an Ipsos poll, about half of millennials carry debt and the most recent government figures show that median millennial debt is $35,400.
And the less money you make, the more you worry about it. Households bringing in less than $50,000 a year worry about money spend almost double the amount of time that households making $100,000 or more do.
Where you live matters too. People in Atlantic Canada worry about their finances the most (3.4 hours a day on average) compared with Quebecers who worry the least (43 minutes a day).
Considering the average amount of time that people under the age of 34 are awake—15 hours—those 2.4 hours represent more than 13 percent of total waking hours. That’s more than double the amount of time that Americans spend eating.
So what do 2.4 hours of fretting about finances actually look like? Scotiabank spokesperson Alen Sadeh said in an email, “The question in the survey didn’t define ‘worrying’ or what specifically it looked like.”
So here’s our attempt to show you:
6:30-6:40 a.m. – I lie in bed thinking about how today is the 14th and tomorrow is payday and tomorrow will be better but it’s also time to put money on your Visa and did I pay my phone bill last month? I think about my $8,500 in non-mortgage debt because who can afford a down payment and because I am a composite character for the purpose of making a larger point about money stress. Sixteen months at $600 a month, I can do it.
8:30-8:40 a.m. – Spent an extra 15 minutes in bed and didn’t have time to make breakfast. I buy a coffee and breakfast sandwich that says it has cheese but it tastes like vegan cheese. I feel guilty about getting grande and not a tall but need to look extra alert for the big morning meeting. That’s $8 I didn’t need to spend but I have $75 left in chequing and hey, I won’t go into overdraft this month. I might even be able to add an extra $50 into savings this month.
10-10:20 a.m. – Shit. Realized it’s my niece’s birthday tomorrow and I’ll need to Amazon one-day package it because she lives in Alberta and her parents just lost their jobs in the economic downturn out there and I should probably pay for wrapping. If only I had done this a few weeks ago I could have bought locally, wrapped it myself, and not felt bad about giving money to Jeff Bezos. But what a rush to get those shipping notification emails!