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Can you be bold in your thinking about work-life balance, and also self-destructive?

The answer is yes if we’re talking about quiet quitting, a term used by young adults to describe an attitude of not sweating blood for your employer. There’s no actual quitting involved. Instead, you put in a workday without the extra hours and effort some employers expect.

Quiet quitting has been described as an answer to something called wage theft, or working extra without remuneration. Mostly, it looks like an independent-minded and kind of gutsy response to the boomer generation’s work-first attitude.

Quiet quitting can cost you, though. Expect employers to be less forthcoming with raises and promotions for employees who work the minimum, who clock out at 5 p.m. on the dot and who never step up when work gets busy. The result can be a lifetime’s worth of personal finance implications.

An example is buying and owning a house. Career advancement is the key to a comfortable home ownership experience. Making more money means housing costs eat up a smaller percentage of your income. You can save – and spend – more. Better jobs also come with benefits that have huge value, and sometimes with pensions that help secure your retirement.

Quiet quitting also puts you in a weak position if the economy falls into a recession, which is a definite possibility as a result of soaring interest rates. Guess who an employer looks at first if layoffs are required?

It’s likely that quiet quitting will fade away all on its own. Employees feel empowered by today’s tight job market, which won’t last indefinitely. The pandemic has also left a lot of us feeling for now like life’s too short to do things we don’t like.

But even in a short period, quiet quitters can build a reputation in a workplace that hurts their earning power. The result in personal finance could be as harsh as never owning a home.


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Rob’s personal finance reading list

Shorter showers and less electricity

How people in Toronto are affording higher payments on their variable rate mortgages.

How much cash should you keep on hand?

The My Own Advisor blog tackles an important question in these uncertain times – how much money should you keep in cash savings?

A 3 per cent savings account

Now for some thoughts on where to keep your savings: a review of the Savvy Savings Account from Motive Financial, an online division of Canadian Western Bank. The big attraction: a 3 per cent return.

Best smartphone plans for students

A helpful and detailed guide to five of the best options for students who need a phone plan, with pros and cons for each.


Ask Rob

Q: Our child has entered into an electrical apprenticeship and we would like to use his registered education savings plan to buy tools and equipment. Is that allowed?

A: Funds withdrawn from an RESP are eligible to be used for costs associated with apprenticeships. Once you’ve provided proof of enrolment in a qualified educations institution, there are no specific limitations on what RESP withdrawals can be used for.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can't answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.


Today’s financial tool

A how-to guide for transferring a tax-free savings account from one investment company or bank to another. In my experience, the biggest hitch in these transfers is money sitting in limbo for lengthy periods.


The Money-Free Zone

Love, Peace and Happiness, by the Chambers Brothers. Power soul played live in 1970.


Watch this

A look at what $1.95-million buys you in the Toronto real estate market. The thinnest house ever.


Listen to this

My chat with Calgary adviser Matthew Andrade about inflation, housing, retirement planning and more.


In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories

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