This hard-working 24-year-old weighs on her financially. But where is the happiness?

“I just thought, OK, once I get a job, once I get settled and have my own money, all my problems will be resolved,” Sim Shyam said in an interview after reaching out to the personal finance team at The Globe and Mail.Tijana Martin/The Globe and Mail

In the past two years, Sim Shyam graduated from college, started his career, bought a car, tried investing in cryptocurrency, and opened a tax-free savings account.

Mrs. Shyam fixes her up in every way financially, but finds happiness far beyond her reach. “I just thought, OK, as soon as I get a job, once I get settled and have my own money, all my problems will be resolved,” she said in an interview after reaching out to The Globe and Mail’s personal finance team. “This never happened.”

Early in the pandemic, young people were particularly hard hit by job losses. But since then, we’ve seen a boom in this group boom through a job market where there’s a demand for young workers, as well as their participation in the rise of stocks and cryptocurrencies.

Is this a tough time to be a young homeowner?

Ms Shyam, 24, has had her fair share of financial success, but that leaves her feeling unhappy. How many other people get that feeling when they look at their new real estate stocks, stock market gains, and cryptocurrency fortune?

Ms. Shyam’s self-diagnosis is that she was too involved with the idea of ​​making money. I worked part-time jobs starting at the age of 16, then worked 25 hours a week in retail for the four years I got my English literature degree at university.

“I come from a middle-class family, and my parents believe very strongly in independence and making money,” she said. “So, from a very young age, these values ​​have always been instilled in me. I am grateful for that.”

In March 2020, I graduated and got a job in a field related to sales where you earn respectable income based on salary and commission. Living at home in Mississauga, Ontario, Ms. Shyam’s main expense when entering the job market was paying off her student loan.

Initially, she devoted the rest of her earnings to working with luxury which included a car – a used Volkswagen Golf – as well as designer clothing, jewelry, and handbags. “I’ve become addicted to handbags,” she joked in an email.

This spending is very similar to what is happening in the economy today. Pummeled demand during the two years of the pandemic has led to household spending that recently increased 30 percent from pre-pandemic days, according to RBC Economics.

In Mrs. Shyam’s case, the spending produced a sense of emptiness which she coped with by throwing herself at her job. Working at home during the pandemic helped with that focus, but it also isolated her from friends, who reached out to see how she was doing. “My answer is always,” she said, “I keep my head down and focus on working and making money and that’s all I do now.”

Ms. Shyam was bold in replacing spending with wealth building. She bought crypto and, through an investment advisor who worked with her parents, began building investments in the TFSA and a registered retirement savings plan.

But personal finance today is more intense than ever. No matter what you do, it may seem insufficient.

Ms Shyam feels she has been late to using cryptocurrency, as she started with it at the end of last year. She got into investing with FOMO — the fear of missing out — after witnessing the incredible rise of AMC Entertainment Holdings, one of the memorable stocks that drove young investors higher last year.

And the whole time, she was watching the rising cost of buying a home. “I really want to have a home and I’m really worried about it right now,” she said. “I think about it every day, and rent seems crazy to me because of the cost.”

These days, you find support in podcasts, YouTube channels, and even books about money and other topics. One podcast she listens to introduces the idea that life becomes frustrating and boring when you don’t face any challenges.

“The new challenge I’m taking right now is getting fit,” she said. “So I moved from making money to training and being active. I feel like I put so much importance on money in the first place.”

Are you a young Canadian thinking about money? To prepare yourself for success and avoid costly mistakes, Listen to our award-winning stress test podcast.

Leave a Comment