April 13, 2022
By Sun Life Staff

Read time: 4 minutes

Listen to article – 4 minutes

26-year-old Sophia Erikson has lived away from her family for the past two years. She’s been moving from one contract job to another. She’s determined to find a full-time job working in marketing. But without job stability, she’s constantly stressed about money and her financial future.

For Sophia, anxiety about her contract’s undefined end date is negatively affecting her financial health. The unpredictable nature of her work situation is keeping her from planning for the future. She can only focus on whether she can make ends meet if her contract would end tomorrow.  

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Unfortunately, Sophia is not alone. The Sun Life Canadian Health Index found that one-third of Canadians feel insecure about their financial health. Unpredictable employment was one of the top 3 reasons they feel this way. And that was before the pandemic. 

COVID-19 has forced us to re-think work and financial plans. Not only is Canada’s unemployment rate rising, but people are also leaving the workforce. To put that in perspective, during the pandemic, there were nearly 9 million CERB applicants.

It’s no wonder Canadians are feeling insecure in their jobs while living through a pandemic. On top of that, many are feeling the stress of the rising cost of living, inflation rates and the booming real estate market. 

Temporary positions have become a big part of the evolving career landscape in Canada. It’s common to hear about people jumping from contract to contract, taking jobs that don’t offer a benefits package or pension plan.

Job uncertainty doesn’t need to mean financial uncertainty. Here are 5 tips for how to save for tomorrow when you’re not sure about today:

1. Protect yourself

Contract positions don’t typically come with a benefits package, and you want to be covered if something unexpected happens. It’s as simple as finding a good individual benefits package, like personal health insurance, for a monthly fee. Then, when you have a full-time position with coverage from your employer, you can cancel it.

2. Give yourself a buffer

Consider having an emergency fund with enough savings to cover 3 to 6 months’ worth of your critical expenses. This may help ease any stress you have about paying your bills. If it’s hard to imagine having money left over after your bills, just remember that every little bit helps. 

3. Avoid impulse purchases

If you’re on a contract or in an unpredictable employment situation, you likely need to be more conservative with your money. Use any bonuses, tax refunds or salary increases to bump up your emergency fund. Or pay down debt instead of that online shopping spree

4. Start saving

While you’re trying to make ends meet, saving for retirement might be the last thing on your mind. But it’s important to set aside a small amount each month. An RRSP or TFSA is a good place to start. And a little saving now can make a big difference later. 

5. Get some advice

You don’t have to deal with financial stress alone. An advisor can help review your finances and develop a plan that works with your current situation.

 

An advisor can help put together a solid plan that suits your goals.

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