Cash-strapped Millennials Experience Low Return on Enjoyment

TD survey finds that half of Millennials value time off but don't always take it

TORONTO, March 14, 2016 /CNW/ - For many Canadian Millennials, busy work schedules and strained finances leave taking time off low on their "to do" list. According to a recent TD survey, 90 per cent of Canadian Millennials say that vacation time, even mini-vacations or "staycations", are essential to keeping them happy. Yet striking a balance between financial and work commitments, and taking time to unwind, proves to be a challenge for the millennial cohort.

The survey found that almost half (46 per cent) of Canadian Millennials are not taking their full allotment of vacation days which is significantly higher than the national average (36 per cent). The top reasons for this included a heavy workload (31 per cent) and not being able to afford to travel (29 per cent).

"Millennials are inundated with updates of extravagant travel their friends are taking through their social media feeds, but it's important to keep perspective," says Shirley Malloy, Associate Vice President, Everyday and Cross Border Banking. "Taking time to recharge doesn't have to mean an expensive, exotic travel destination. Lower cost options like a staycation can be easier to budget for and can offer a stronger ROE or Return on Enjoyment."

The TD survey also found 89 per cent of Millennials say time off from work is important for personal growth so they can focus on other interests.

Hellen Buttigieg, life coach and founder of We Organize U, notes this can come in the form of professional development. "Many of the Millennials I coach set high expectations for themselves when it comes to professional advancement, but it's important for them to recognize that taking time off can actually benefit their work life," said Buttigieg. "Making time for yourself can help boost productivity and makes employees better equipped to handle challenging tasks, clients or colleagues."

The ticket to success

The first step in investing in enjoyments is to incorporate it into your broader financial strategy. Malloy suggests Millennials first identify how they want to spend their time off and then factor in any associated costs. This can help prioritize where to invest in things like hobbies or vacations, while making sure they fit within the broader financial plan. If the cost falls outside of the budget, opting for a lower-cost option can help maximize the enjoyment of the experience for the money spent.

"To start saving for these investments in yourself, take a month to track all money coming in and going out to get an idea of where you can cut back on your spending, even slightly," says Malloy. "Take those savings, no matter how small, and set up an automated savings plan aligned to your pay deposits.  The automated savings plan can transfer funds into a high interest savings account to take advantage of compound interest."

Millennials can also benefit from making purchases with a credit card that offers a loyalty reward program, as long as they pay the balance in full and on time, otherwise interest charges could outweigh any loyalty rewards earned. Although there is a yearly fee, travel reward credit cards can be a simple and convenient way to accumulate rewards that can help offset travel expenses, yet the survey found only 24 per cent of Millennials use loyalty rewards to fund enjoyments like vacation.

Invest in yourself

For Millennials who cite a heavy workload as a reason for not taking vacation time, Buttigieg stresses that maintaining a work-life balance is essential to one's health and well-being. "To avoid the anxiety that comes with leaving a heavy workload behind, book time off during slower periods and space out the days throughout the year," said Buttigieg. "Relaxing also looks different to everyone – whether you want to invest in a new hobby that can be experienced time and again or plan a getaway, what's essential is to take a break, refresh, and invest in some much needed time for yourself."

Malloy agrees that it's not what you do on your time off that matters, it's that you take time to unwind. "And knowing that you've planned for it financially will help you truly relax and maximize your return on enjoyment."

For more resources and tools to help make everyday finances easy, please visit: www.tdcanadatrust.com/budget  

About the TD Bank Group Life in the 'RoE: Funding Life's Pleasures' Poll
TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct a custom survey of 1,001 Canadians aged 18 and older. Responses were collected between January 29 and February 2, 2016. All respondents are included in this report.

About TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, plus credit protection and credit travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as at over 1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For more information, please visit: www.tdcanadatrust.com. TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

For further information: Sandra DeCarvalho, TD Bank Group, 416-944-7095, sandra.decarvalho@td.com; Athaina Tsifliklis, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, 416-413-4753, Athaina.Tsifliklis@hkstrategies.ca

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