The American economy might be thriving, but millennials are still dealing with issues that are specific to their generation.
After the economic crash of 2008, many millennials were just getting their start in the professional sphere.
Forced to build their lives in the midst of the Great Recession, this age group has experienced a unique series of economic struggles.
Compared to the economic boom that most of their parents lived through in the 1980s, millennials now face higher costs associated with education, housing, and even food.
Because of the circumstances that millennials have grown up around, they’re having a tougher time making ends meet.
It Costs More to Get Ahead
For baby boomers and generation X, many families were able to get by with one income. Additionally, inflation was still within reach of standard living costs.
This allowed them to put more money aside for savings and emergencies.
Today, young adults are struggling to keep up with rising living costs that supercede the rate of inflation in the United States. Our dollars aren’t going as far anymore.
Millennials have taken to credit cards and loans to bridge this economic gap. Now, more than a quarter of millennials carry a credit card balance for at least one year.
Additionally, it costs more to enter the workforce.
While 30 years ago it was easy to land an entry-level job with just a high school diploma, now more and more employers expect new hires to bring undergraduate degrees.
Credit-only internships are no longer an opportunity that is available for just anyone.
Since many students need to work nearly full-time hours to pay for school, many aren’t able to forfeit 10-15 hours of paid work each week to facilitate an internship.
Even though internships are still expected as an entry-level credential in many industries, only students receiving external support are usually able to afford them.
Rising tuition costs have made this milestone even more difficult to achieve. As a result, 63 percent of millennials have more than five figures of student debt.
Increased tuition costs also aren’t just a problem for those looking for a liberal arts education.
Trade schools are also affected, making it more difficult for millennials to move on from low-paying, unskilled positions.
Owning a Home is Far Less Attainable
Compared to baby boomers, millennials can expect to pay 39 percent more to purchase a home.
Because of this increase, individuals in this age group are waiting longer to buy their first homes.
The traditional path to the “American Dream” has become a much slower, uphill climb for millennials.
In many cases, adults in this age group are opting to live with their parents for a few extra years to gain financial stability.
Consequently, Millennials are Paying More in Rent
In the past 50 years, rent costs have skyrocketed by at least 46 percent. Since millennials are waiting longer to purchase a home, they’re forced to pay high rent costs for a place to stay.
This is another reason why some millennials choose to stay at home with their parents for as long as possible. When feasible, this economic decision can allow them to build a savings and better prepare for their financial future.
To keep up with soaring rent costs, a record number of adults choose to live with a roommate.
Millennials may be known as the generation of experiences, but they’ve fought a considerable economic battle in the background.
As a result of dramatically increasing living costs and stagnating salaries, millennials have had to put some of the more conventional American lifestyle goals on hold. Compared to other generations, they still have a lot of work to do if they want to keep up.