The things that media seem to report on the most have everything to do with Russia, oil price, unemployment rates and what all of this means to those of us here who are making money and deciding on the size of our disposable incomes. The situation with Russian economy tanking due to issues with Ukraine and European Union are bad for most Canadian companies doing business with or inside Russia. The low price of oil is making Alberta's and US oil too expensive; the Business Week reported today that Alberta's growth for the year is already expected to go down by half! So much for those who want to leave the Ontario crunch and move to Alberta in search of riches beyond anything they think they can get at home. Finally, the unemployment rate includes many young adults who have high education but little work experience because they were never given a proper chance since at least 2008. These are the people who should now be buying houses, condos, cars, engagement rings and at least 4-star vacations; instead, however, they have next to nothing and a pile of OSAP waiting to be paid off over the next 10 years.
I don't think that the falling price of oil, low loonie value versus USD and the troubles in Russia have any real bearing on our everyday lives, nor that they should make us pinch pennies. These are those difficult to predict events that cause fluctuations. Life is a roller coaster and only those who forget it end up suffering the consequences; the rest of us buckle down and ride it out. As a long-time resident of an important city like Toronto, however, it is the high unemployment among young adults that has me worried the most.
When you have so many people renting instead of buying, taking public transit instead of driving, buying cheap Android tablets instead of iPads and so on, the economy suffers in so many sectors and we begin to depend more and more on the influx of rich foreign students and their moms and dads with deep pockets. The thing is, however, that you cannot get enough foreigners to replace the kind of capital that the local population of a first world country can generate and invest right at home. Also, unlike foreign capital that can up and leave for greener pastures basically any time, domestic capital is more likely to stay right here. So here I am asking myself if it is a crime or not for a first world country like Canada to have one or two lost generations in this day and age. What'll it take for many of them to have the kind of life they should have- my line of work? I don't even know any more.
On the bright side for the rest of you gentlemen out there is a single glowing fact. If you're not in this group, chances are you're probably OK at the very least. At most, you're living the good life and then some. :) You can handle the roller coasters that the media are blaring about like some annoying siren. If you don't feel like being paranoid, buckling down and penny pinching, maybe there's a good reason why. No matter how rich of a family you come from, you had to penny pinch at some point in your life. For some of you, it meant giving up daily Starbucks. For others, it meant driving last year's BMW when the new one was out already. Either way, you penny pinched for a period of time. All you have to do to convince yourself not to do it again is to remember how it felt. I remember those times too and they felt bad; I never want to be frugal again.
These are my two cents and an insight into what's going through your favorite Miss Z's head at the beginning of 2015. Do your thing, gentlemen, but make sure that whatever you decide somehow makes you happy as well.