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Does it feel like everyone you know has a side hustle and can barely afford to live in (insert major city) to work and live? It's likely not just your inner circle. Being Canadian is 2017 getting to be pretty damn costly. Earlier this year, the Conference Board of Canada predicted the average Canadian household would pay an extra $1,600 this year from 2016, mostly due to an increase in fuel and energy costs. Paired with how in 2016 the average Canadian is $22,081 in debt—a 3.6 percent increase from 2015, it's almost like things are getting worse (they are). Not living paycheque to paycheque seems like a pipe dream for many people.
While it may seem like on the surface Canada has seen plenty of job growth, the truth is that we're not getting the good kind. According to a Statistics Canada job data from April, we're seeing a rise in part-time work, while also losing over 30,000 full time jobs. New data gathered by one of Canada's largest accounting firm, MNP and global market research firm Ipsos shows that Canadians are struggling pretty badly when it comes to paying their bills.The consumer debt sentiment survey released earlier this week looked at the financial situation of 1,500 Canadians. Out of those surveyed, 52 percent revealed they are at most $200 away from not being able to pay off their bills, including various debts. Not only that, but a whopping 31 percent revealed they actually can't pay off their bills from month to month. At 48 percent, almost half of those surveyed were pretty freaked out about their current debt.Plenty of young Canadians are feeling the brunt of being broke. Jennifer* a 28 year old administrative assistant employed full time in Montreal has difficulty paying bills and debts on a monthly basis, "I'm usually just able to pay all my bills, but I have a credit card that has a balance so I'm not able to pay it off." While she hopes her financial situation changes, she found herself doing a clinical drug trial to gain extra funds to pay her bills.With this news, it's also frightening to realize that younger Canadians are relying on payday loans more than any other age bracket to pay off debt. A survey by debt management company Hoyes, Michalos & Associates from this March concluded that a whopping 38 percent of Canadians between the ages of 18-29 are turning to high interest payday loans to pay off their debts.Canadians seem to be turning towards the gig economy for extra income, but considering how bad things are you'd think Canadian Blood Services would finally start paying us for blood.Follow Sarah Hagion Twitter.