As we leave behind another spring, a new summer is on the horizon. While many of us dream up exclusive travel plans taking us to exotic destinations and all-inclusive resorts, for the vast majority of Americans these globetrotting dreams are just that: fantasy. A growing number of people won’t be booking a trip to a tropical destination this summer for reasons that may surprise you.
Unstable Finances Ground the Lower Class
But first: the most obvious reason why Americans aren’t vacationing. A recent survey reports nearly 70% of the population has less than $1,000 in savings set aside. Over 30% of this number has absolutely nothing in their savings accounts.They can forget about taking a holiday. The state of their finances makes it hard to cover emergencies like a sudden car or home repair. Depending on the bank balance in question, it can be impossible to pay for these expenses at all.
Americans with these financials have to rely on help to pay for their immediate needs, and installment loans from the country’s growing industry of CABs (or Credit Access Business in full) offer exactly the kind of assistance they need. That’s because these advances offer a practical solution for those searching for a quick answer to their cash shortages.
A CAB like MoneyKey arranges flexible loans on their customers’ behalf with unaffiliated third-parties. As a result, they can provide assistance similar in size to payday loans but with more forgiving terms. Extended terms that allow for repayment in the form of several installments over the course of several weeks is just one of the many benefits of an installment loan.
When you rely on an installment loan to pay for an essential bill or repair, it’s unlikely you’ll throw caution to the wind and book a trip abroad. It doesn’t help that many of those with insufficient savings are struggling with underemployment or part-time and contract work in positions that don’t offer paid vacation time. That’s why, despite the strong US dollar this year, most low-income Americans will be grounded this summer.
America’s Work Balance is out of Whack
When it comes to those with a little meat on their budget and cash to spare on a holiday, there’s another factor that’s preventing them from seeing the world. Americans have taken the recent slew of work anthems playing on the radio to heart. Americans are working more than ever, all while butchering the lyrics to Rihanna’s record-breaking Work.
According to the US Travel Association’s Project Time Off study, 55% of those who are gainfully employed are choosing to forgo their paid vacations. Only 6,784 people were included in the survey, yet they let 658 million vacation days go untapped, resulting in $61.4 billion in unused benefits. Many of these people work through their holidays because they’re made to feel guilty about taking time off by superiors.
This is just one reason why America ranks poorly on the OECD’s Better Life Index. The index measures quality of life, so it disregards GDP in favor of looking at the average work day, amongst other criteria. While the typical Scandinavian countries like Denmark and Netherlands earned their places at the top, the US only ranked 29 out of 36 counties in terms of work-life balance.
Here’s where the lower and middle classes find common ground. Both brackets are slaves to the job, willingly or otherwise. Those who have no paid vacation can’t afford to miss a day’s worth of pay, and those who forfeit their right to paid vacations may not work in an environment that encourages them to take holidays.
Though their motivations may differ, the end result is the same. Most people don’t have the freedom to take that trip they dream about all season long. Summer may be the quintessential time to take a break, but until the country does something to sort out work-life balance and encourage financial literacy that builds better savings, summer will remain an industrious season for most Americans.