I work in IT sales; the office is chock full of really smart people in their early 20's who are pulling down between 60-100k per year.
These youngsters I work with seem to be more frugal than average. I wouldn't call them mustachian, but these kids are the millennials who have seen the following during their formative years:
-Negligible stock market returns in the past decade
-Two wars that have killed some of their friends and helped create massive amounts of debt that their generation will likely shoulder
-The worst recession since the "big one" in '29
-Crushing unemployment and student loan debt (which cannot be discharged even in bankruptcy!) for their cohorts who are not smart/skilled/lucky enough to land a good job
Perhaps the millenials will "look" financially more like the generation who lived through the great depression, rather than generation x or the baby boomers.
You are so right by the way! I am 26 years old, and I have watched on the news people being evicted out of their homes with only 20 minutes to grab what they can before the locks are changed. That really changes a person. You realize when you see people grabbing the dog and baby and leaving behind the big screen tv, stereo system, gaming console, new sofa, and everything else, what is really important when it comes down to the wire. Maybe if they hadn't bought all that junk, that didn't really matter that much to them in the end, they wouldn't be getting evicted.
I have also watched my parents be layed off after years of tireless service and struggle with years of unemployment, not sure if they can afford to pay the heat AND the mortgage. My other parent is just HORRENDOUS with money and I watched as he retired, jacked up his lifestyle to exceed his retirement income, and now has to scramble to get a full-time job competing with the legion of unemployed new university grads for minimum wage jobs that are available.
I watched friends delay having children because their consumer and student loan debt was too crushing. They in essence let a credit card company and a bank tell them when they can start having kids. That's crazy!
And yes realizing that if everything went pear shaped I could literally not discharge my student loans unless I DIED, has really made me super keen on paying it all off. What maturing during the recession teaches you, is you really don't own anything until you have no debt and enough FU money saved up. Also it gives a great perverse pleasure in s****ing the government/ banks out of all the interest they thought they were going to get out of me! When I said this to a friend once she asked me if I thought everyone following this exampled would collapse the economy, since it's so dependent on consumer spending. I told her if the economy depended on me, and everyone else, being a debt slave for the rest of our lives I frankly hoped it crashed and burned as fast as possible, so we could start building something better sooner. I'm not going to put the shackles back on my hands because it's "good for the economy (read: society)." When they were evicting those families on tv, no one was thanking them for doing their part for the economy!
Sorry that got pretty angry. I guess I didn't realized how annoyed I was with the whole situation.