Many Americans today must understand the concept of having a healthy work-life balance. When it comes to making ends meet, many Americans must sacrifice one, two or several other aspects of their life that they would have if not for financial burden.
A 2015 study by the American Psychological Association found that money is the leading cause of stress among Americans. The study reported that for many Americans (64 percent) money is either “somewhat” or a “very significant” form of stress.
Young adults with a college education who have just entered the work force have found that student loans have created an incredibly large burden causing them to forgo purchasing their first car, buying a house or even moving out from their parents’ house entirely.
Jay Thomas is currently finishing up his last year of his undergraduate education at Texas State University. Thomas explained how he had to find a balance between school and work as well as creating a social life for himself.
“The fact of the matter is that I have to get by financially while I’m finishing off my degree. I want to be able to set myself up for future success by creating a savings account right now while I am still in school. In order to make all of that happen I have to sacrifice the social aspect of my life. I want to be on the dean’s list, I want to be comfortable financially but all of this comes with sacrificing time with my friends,” Thomas said.
Student loan debt is a major factor contributing to the sacrifices made by many Americans across the country. According to a survey of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) 81 percent of adults with student loans have reported making personal or financial sacrifices because of the amount of their loans.
Additionally, the survey reported that 50 percent said that they delayed contributions to retirement accounts.
Outside of student loans, many Americans have to give up time with family because of their work. Bonnie McGuire is a teacher in the West Bloomfield School District in suburban Detroit where she has taught for 21 years. McGuire explained that she struggles to see family from out of town because of her commitment to work, both paid time and unpaid time off.
“I have made myself extremely involved in the lives of my kids that I educate and my own kids. One of the biggest sacrifices that I have made by working in Michigan is that I am unable to see my family in Pittsburgh. I think that working full-time and helping out with camps over the summer has caused me to have to sacrifice family time, which is really important to me, but I have to make ends meet for the livelihood of my kids,” McGuire said.
One element of financial struggle is simply the loss of time. Time is valuable but so is income. When it comes to creating a healthy work-life balance, many people around the world must evaluate how much they are working and where they are working.
According to a survey by Accenture on defining success, more than half of the survey’s 4,100 respondents across 33 countries had turned down a job because they were concerned about the impact that another job would have on their work-life balance.
Statistically, happiness varies by age group regarding work-life balance. According to research conducted by YouGov, a report was published indicating that one in five (21 percent) of 25 to 34-year-olds are unhappy with their current work-life balance.
Comparatively, one in six 18 to 24-year-olds (15 percent) have listed as unhappy with this balance while 35 to 44-year-olds reported 14 percent and 45 to 55-year-olds reported 17 percent to be unhappy with their current work-life balance.
Instead of giving up time with family or the ability to live a life that you find to be “successful” or “happy”, many researchers have conducted surveys, studies have been conducted by many web sources and interview sources have listed these items as important things to “give up” to find further success:
1. Saying yes to things that do not support your goals
2. The need to be liked by everyone
3. Dependency upon social media
4. Control of every element of your life
5. Short-term mindsets
Many Americans must sacrifice things that are important to their heart. Zac Davis owns his own business based out of Houston, Texas. Davis explained that his sacrifice comes in to play in terms of spending time with his kids while running a business and overseeing an entire sales team.
“Unfortunately, I have to spend a lot of time on my phone while I am with my kids. I am always answering to members of our sales team that have questions or concerns and I want to be a good role model, so I make myself readily available to my employees. As a parent, hearing this from your own kids hurts. In a perfect world, I would be able to spend equal time with my kids and run my business. I am still working to create a proper balance,” Davis said.
According to the Accenture survey report, 70 percent of survey respondents have noted that technology brings work into their personal lives while 75 percent said that they frequently or at least occasionally work during their paid time off. Davis explained how these statistics do not surprise him.
“Being just a phone call away for my employees makes things easier on them, but when it comes to my personal life, I keep having to remind myself to put my work life aside to spend time with my family. Sometimes that is just tossing a football with my son and sometimes that is having to take a vacation, removing myself from my day to day work environment,” Davis said.
Sacrifices can come in the form of living situations, family situations or time spent with your friends. These elements of your life have a level of importance, but making sure that you are financially stable has seemed to outweigh a lot of this importance nationwide.