Gen Squeeze aims to be a national voice for squeezed Canadians in their 20s, 30s and 40s, in the world of politics AND in the marketplace. On the latter front, in 2016 we began to build up a Benefits program to ease your squeeze. It's all about pooling our influence in the marketplace to save you time and money, and help you live more sustainably.
And what a year it’s been! It's hard to believe Erin joined Gen Squeeze only 12 months ago. We sat down with her to learn what it’s been like to build out our program from scratch.
The Generation Squeeze Benefits program has just finished its first calendar year. What's been the most exciting part for you?
Wow, that’s hard to say! For me it’s been the sense of possibility. We began this year not sure if our plans for a benefits program would work. But between the research and our first few test benefits, it seems like we may be on to something. And that’s exciting!
Second to that is doing the math. When I start calculating what the whole package could save someone, and then multiply it across the number of allies we have, I realize we have the potential to put hundreds of thousands of dollars back into the pockets of squeezed Canadians.
What have we learned?
Through the help of partners like UBC, Ethello and Ponder, we’ve been able to get a good snapshot of how we can ease the day-to-day squeeze of young Canadians. While housing was people's biggest pain point (no surprise there), it turns out deals on cell phones, transportation and extended health benefits insurance are other areas where we can ease the squeeze.
We also learned about your generosity. Many of you said you would be willing to pay what you could as a “membership” fee. We plan to keep the bar really low (a minimum of $1.87 per month), but this opens up a whole range of possibilities -- like a Gen Squeeze group health plan! -- and turns us into a very strong buying collective.
What's happening with the Benefits program in 2017?
The Benefits program will only continue to grow. The reason? After a successful first year, Vancity has graciously renewed my secondment for a second year. This is great because there are so many things I still want to do, and it will give us the time to build a sustainment plan as well.
What do you have in store for us this year?
The next benefits to launch will be designed to empower you as a renter, save you money on your mortgage, and get you a better deal with extended health benefits! And we are always open to suggestions – if you‘ve got ideas, please do let us know!