We've all seen those memes that compare the cost of living 20 or 30 years ago to now, right? They show how something has gotten more expensive, like housing or college, yet wages have remained the same. A lot has changed in the last 25-35 years, and for millennials, those changes have made life a lot harder. A recent report by Axios highlights how hard it is to make it in America right now. But there's also some good news in all the doom and gloom!
According to the report, the median income has remained steady from 1977 to 2016. But the cost of college, and the amount of debt we take on, has skyrocketed. Could these be a contributing factor to why people are having fewer kids nowadays? Seems very likely. The report acknowledges that millennials are having kids later, saying that they're much more risk averse, and are choosing to put off starting a family until they're more financially stable. Adding to the stagnant wages and high cost of living is the cost of childcare, which is a huge deterrent for many people. It's staggeringly expensive to pay for childcare, and not many American families can make it on one salary these days.
Additionally, the cost of housing has become so high that it's almost impossible to find an affordable home or apartment in many major metropolitan cities. Emily Glover reported in this for Motherly, and she found that the median home price in this country has jumped from $2,930 in 1940 to nearly $200,000 in 2017. Adjusted for inflation, it should have been closer to $30,000 in 2000.
But, even given these challenges, millennials are making it work, and excelling in so many other aspects of life. For instance, millennial dads are spending more time with their kids than their dads spent with them. And the report also acknowledges that millennials are actually better at managing money than the media would lead us to believe (avocado toast, anyone?). Parents in this generation love being parents, even though it's hard and expensive and stressful. The report certainly highlights some majorly problematic areas for millennials. But it also shows just how resourceful we are!