Laying on the beach, not thinking about the 9 to 5, or having an endless pot of money. All things we would love to have and do during our hard earned summer vacation. However, for many if not all, satisfying all of these visions is close to impossible. Money – or the lack thereof – acts as a constant reminder for our need to work, regardless of the harm working too hard could do to our health . The changes the workforce has seen due to the pandemic has led to a new wave of stress for workers which can further amplify anxiety caused by money issues.. As we enter the latter half of summer, we will dive into the current state of the economy and how it affects the working population.
We can begin with the discussion on the workers are that underearning. This, as simple as it sounds, encompasses more than the monetary gain that one obtains from working. In this case not only is the worker’s earning not enough, but their joy, happiness and self-esteem take a hit as well.. Time is also a crucial element jeopardised by this type of earning.1 Some of the common traits of those that are underearning are, but are not limited to, this list: chaotic financial timeline, iffiness surrounding money, self-sabotage, etc. Interestingly, a person who is earning more can be an underearner while another person who is making less money is not necessarily one. This further demonstrates that it is not quite the lack of money that is causing a chaotic relationship with money, but rather the mindset towards it.
Similarly, inflation can lead workers to house a negative and pessimistic mindset. Some can have a scarcity mindset where no amount of money, wealth, or time will be enough; therefore, it leads to an unhappy and uncertain future. Some even describe it as an obsession with the lack of something.2 Not only is continual belief of this mindset destabilising, , it also prevents people from achieving their financial goals. It halts growth and learning that is possible within the realm of the earning-spending stratosphere, something that is required to grow one’s financial portfolio. On the other side of the spectrum, there are overspenders that do not care about the inflationary increase in prices, maintaining the exact same spending habits. Some may even classify this type of action as “retail therapy” or “good for one’s mental health”. It is a difficult line to draw especially in this day and age where mental health has finally begun to get the awareness it deserves. However, a clever adaptation to the new market can lead to sustaining a healthy work-life balance and mindset. Although there is no one correct way to approach inflation, it is always important to recognize the two extremes and aim to stay away from them, or better yet: in between them.
When those extremes are reached, any semblance of a healthy work-life balance is lost. In some cases, the work takes over one’s life, focusing on financial gain at the expense of a healthy mindset or much needed relaxation. On the other hand, some may make excuses in the name of mental health to spend as much as possible, which only leads to instant gratification and long term stress and anxiety due to the lack of financial stability. The destruction of this balance was often seen due to a shift in workspace where the comfort of one’s home suddenly became an office cubicle. The degree of separation between work and life vanished overnight.
What makes us unique as humans is our ability to adapt. Adaptation to financial stress, or even significant financial loss is also part of what makes us human. The pandemic continues to push our limit but we have stood strong, despite the countless worrisome nights and stressful days. One thing to keep in mind is that as much as money is a priority, we need to be our biggest advocate. Once again, money alone cannot look out for us as much as we can for ourselves.
- Stanny, B. (2011, October 3). 7 signs you’re an Underearner. Forbes. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/barbarastanny/2011/10/03/7-signs-youre-an-underearner/?sh=5130d315265a
- Yale, A. J. (2022, March 7). What to know about the scarcity mindset and how it affects women and their finances – and 6 ways to avoid it. Business Insider. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/scarcity-mindset