Being an adult is hard, and it’s even harder for this particular generation. For the first time in history, we have a generation of young adults who are not going to be better off than their parents. We have grown up in a failing economy and we mostly just have a lot of debt to show for it.
I graduated from university four years ago and I own a house, a car, a dog, and a mountain of debt. Some of it (house, car, student loan) are considered good debt while others (two credit cards) are considered bad debt. I’m at a point in my life where I pay bills and hope I have enough so my credit score doesn’t take a beating – saving is barely an option for me at this point.
It’s going to be tough saving up for retirement this way, especially because all of the Canadian Pension Plan and Old Age Security money likely won’t be available to me after I retire because Canadians are living longer than ever and the money is going to run out before I get to it in 40 years. It also doesn’t help that the government has already started bumping up the minimum age to collect CPP and OAS – so all of that money I had been paying into it all of these years already, and all of the money I’ll pay into in the future will have no impact on me.
I’ll have to figure it out somehow.
I had a conversation with my bank today and the person I spoke to berated me for having very little savings. I essentially live paycheque to paycheque – what money do I have to save? I am grossly over educated for the job I have and there isn’t anything I can do about it as I am lucky enough to have a full time job that doesn’t wear down my soul.
This debt, however is wearing my soul down, and it’s hard to think that when my parents (who are young compared to other friends’ parents), bought their house, my dad was the only one working, and he was making considerably less than I am now. The bank required two incomes out of us, and we are both educated with pretty good salaries.
I’m scared for the world that I might bring kids into one day, if it’s this bad for me – how bad is it going to be for them?
I am in the process of working out a debt consolidation plan with my bank, but it’s not as easy as it sounds, there are hoops, conditions and a whole thing to go through before the bank will help you get a handle on your debt – and I am starting to feel like I’m drowning. I’m continually getting “I’m sorry Amanda we won’t be able to do that for you – but here’s a hit on your credit score for not making that payment” (okay, not that dramatic but it’s getting ridiculous).
While debt is a fact of life, but I want to have some freedom to be able to buy a new outfit that wasn’t on the clearance rack, or go on a weekend trip spur of the moment, or heaven forbid, pay for an emergency vet bill for my dog – all without missing a payment that will hit my credit score.
Excuse me while I go cry in a corner.