I'm approaching 30, I still live with my parents. I can't afford to buy a condo, or even to move into an apartment or buy a car. Forget about starting a family. I have a few contracts as an assistant, but it's not enough to be financially independent. And it always requires more hours than I expected, which eats up my research time. So I'm less productive, which hurts my case.
Since I have a master's degree, sometimes I think about leaving the academic world to work in a private company. It's not normal for me to fantasize about a decent, stable salary and a normal workload when I've completed my high school, CEGEP, bachelor's and master's degrees. What is most discouraging is that I am not even eligible to apply for a job anymore. I don't feel worthy and valued. Motivation takes a hit. I feel like a second class student.
If graduate school funding was $35,000 Canadian per year for all students, how would that change your life? It would encourage me to complete my PhD. I would probably be more motivated, efficient and productive. I would have less to worry about financially. I would stay with my parents, but at least I would be able to save up to buy a condo. I would see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Additional comments: Inflation, housing crisis, loss of yield, rising interest rates... not a good time to be a PhD.