More Money, More Problems. More like No Money, More Problems.
Living has always had its expenses and although I’d like to believe that money won’t buy you happiness, I am a firm believer that money will buy you peace of mind.
I say this because of where I am in my life right now: I just moved out after living at home for several months after graduating from college. You know, being a millennial. But what I’m struggling with this week is money, or rather, the worth of a dollar. Now, when I drafted this blog/article/rant, I first began by discussing the jobs and side hustles I did to be able to be where I’m at right now and how money is a huge part of that. And although I went to college and earned an undergrad degree, I am not doing anything that pertains to my field of study at the moment. I talked about my ability to save money, gave me the confidence to go out on my own, but that it was a wake up call to realize how expensive everything is. I know, I’m either coming off as ignorant or privileged, but hear me out.
The generation before us DID NOT pay as much as we do right now. Even when you’re comparing the inflation rates of living twenty years ago to now, today’s living expenses are simply more expensive. I swear I’m not talking out of butt, just through my keyboard. But in all seriousness, according to an Investopedia article titled, What Does the Current Cost of Living Compare to 20 Years Ago? (A perfectly titled article if I do say so myself) reads “…while the average person is still making the same amount of money when accounting for inflation, prices for many of the daily necessities have gone up considerably, which means that each dollar earned does, in fact, buy less than it did 20 years ago.” That sucks.
Maybe that’s why my generation has become a generation recognized for living at home? Not only is the cost of rent, utilities and daily amenities and supplementary expenses financial concerns, but there’s also the accumulated debt for an individual who went to college. You know, those loans that you told yourself you didn’t have to worry about until you graduated. Well, you’ve graduated. Buy some cheap wine or some discount liquor, and figure out how you’re going to pay those off first, before even thinking about moving out of your parents place. That’s the other problem; college has become so incredibly expensive. Although the rates of tuition are different for private and public universities, both exhibit massive surges in pricing. Compared to twenty years ago, public universities and colleges have increased their tuition by over 200%, while private universities and colleges have increased their tuition by over 120%. I was no math major, but that’s a lot. No wonder people my age are staying home. They’re going to be making monthly payments for a good few years, and that’s not even including monthly rent.
The way money is used today is also so paradoxical. We spend money just as fast as we make it. We go to our jobs and careers, make our money and then spend it on things we are told we need. And once we get it, there’s something else or something new that we just have to have, and it’s an endless cycle. We are told we are successful when we have certain things that will signify status and class, and if we can’t afford them, then we’re not good enough. Do you get what I mean? Like I said, this was a blog/article/rant and money has been at the forefront of my thoughts lately. I may be displaying a spectacularly millennial perspective when it comes to money and responsibilities, but what do you think? Is this a wake up call? Or is this how it actually is?
Let me know what your thoughts are on the cost of living, I’ll be patiently waiting on your response while listening to my 90s Spotify playlist and heating up some Ramen.