If you’re going into debt trying to keep up with your friends posts on social media, you’re not alone.

A new survey from Manulife Bank suggests more than one-third of millennials are spending more money than they make every year, primarily to keep up appearances on social media.

Manulife Bank surveyed Canadians making more than $40,000 a year between the ages of 20 and 69.

49% of people between the ages of 20 and 39 say they’re carrying balances on their credit cards.

Rick Lunny, Manulife Bank President & CEO, says: “Everybody's living this perfect life on Instagram and there's pressure to spend more money than they have.” Those same millennials report that they’re rolling debt over month-to-month, unable to pay off the balance.   

In contrast, baby boomers say they’re less stressed about debt and the debt they are carrying isn’t impacting their ability to travel or pay for entertainment.

Lunny says the angst of rolling debt is likely negatively impacting millennial’s life away from social media “because they're so close to the line, it creates challenges and those challenges are just not financial challenges, it affects their mental health and their family.”

By The Numbers:

  • 33% of Canadians say their spending growth outpaces their income growth.
  • 38% of Canadians who went into debt cite doing so because they live beyond their means; 19% say they can’t break the debt habit
  • 49% of indebted Canadians aged 20-34 years old and a majority of those who are 35-54 years old report carrying credit cards with a balance
  • 9% admit to being clueless about how much they are spending, every month, on average