Author Topic: Why can't millennials get ahead?  (Read 46610 times)

FireLane

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Why can't millennials get ahead?
« on: June 27, 2015, 10:55:04 AM »
Thought the MMM community might get some entertainment out of this:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/junejulyaugust_2015/features/the_postownership_society055896.php?page=all

I think some of the writer's complaints are valid. Stable jobs with good benefits are a lot harder to find than they used to be, and a lot of millennials are being screwed over by "freelance" jobs that are really just regular jobs with lower pay and much less job security. But I have less sympathy when she starts complaining that she can't build up enough wealth to be comfortable, even though her own story makes it obvious that she's gotten into the habit of spending wastefully:

Quote
Through the summer, my friends and I, all in our late twenties to mid-thirties, would go out at night for $10 Negronis or bourbons, or went to places where we had cultivated friendships with bartenders so we got some drinks for free. Wed have $8 drip coffee in the mornings with a rosemary or lavender scone, or something else ridiculously fancy, rubbing shoulders with the people our age and older who actually made money.

Quote
At a slight premium, I can have food delivered straight to my door rather than worrying about cab trips back and forth from the supermarket. Amazon Primes free two-day delivery obviates long trips to Target or spending a fortune at a hardware store for household goods. If we have to pick up extra hours of work to cover the cost of rent or lattes and drinks, we can have our washing done by the online service Washio, or send someone else to the grocery store for us with Instacart.

If you're a freelance writer, you ought to be scrimping and avoiding expenses everywhere you can, not spending money on $10 cocktails or paying someone to do your laundry for you!

dcheesi

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2015, 01:21:31 PM »
Well I think some of that goes with the urban "bohemian" lifestyle. It's hard to feel comfortable at home when you're subletting a single room or a "crash pad" in someone else's place. And if you don't have an office provided for you, your cheapest alternative for a productive space may be the overpriced coffee shop down the street. For similar reasons, urban social life tends to revolve around going out to bars/restaurants as opposed to cheaper options at people's homes. 

I do agree about the laundry and similar services, though. The only way that could conceivably make sense is if she's devoting every minute of time saved into her freelance work, and can guarantee that that effort will pay off for more than the service premium costs her. Unlikely in practice.

I also think there's some issues around perceptions and expectations. She mentioned renting a Zipcar to avoid having to "lug groceries for a mile". But a mile is really not that far, especially in a relatively flat city-scape like DC. Buy a decent wheeled cart and take a walk! Free exercise + no car rental + time to think and appreciate the day = Win!

forummm

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2015, 02:52:48 PM »
If you're a freelance writer, you ought to be scrimping and avoiding expenses everywhere you can, not spending money on $10 cocktails or paying someone to do your laundry for you!

Or buying cell phones that cost more than my mortgage with monthly payments exceeding my electric bill.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2015, 06:47:07 PM »
Not that much entertainment. 

In answer to her "Maybe the twenty and thirtysomethings of previous generations also felt this way when they looked up the age ladder.":  Yes.   Been there; done that; bought the pricey mochas.  Then fixed myself with badassity and luck.  But millennials will have to work a lot harder and hope for as good or better luck.  And my luck was pretty good.   They have my sympathies.

But in the meantime they should include money when they keep score, stop buying lame a$$ cocktails, and leverage those apps.  Her attitudes about non profit work and income are weirdly similar to certain Christians who believe "God will provide".

deborah

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2015, 07:31:05 PM »
My problem is that it is difficult to compare. When I was in my 20s there was high youth unemployment, it was very difficult to get a first job, and inflation was blowing out the window. Mortgage rates here went up to 18%, and although people paid 3x their income rather than the 5x it is here now for a house, the mortgage rate was so high that it was more difficult then to service your mortgage than it is now - even in Australia where house prices are through the roof.

Here, people in their 20s complain (like this article does) about high student debt (which we didn't have) and the much higher price of houses. And these things are bad. However, each generation has its own bad, and it is difficult to compare. Was my "bad" better or worse than your "bad"?

The problem she has (and a lot of her generation), is that she looks at her parents as they currently are rather than as they were in their 20s. She assumes that her parents have always had it as good as now. And that just isn't so. Her parents are probably exacerbating the problem by giving her money, and helping her to live above her means - the bohemian lifestyle without the money problems people living it have always had. She has been told by the media that the great recession was the worst thing that ever happened, and so she doesn't believe that other places, and other generations have also had it tough.

A problem I have (and I suspect a lot of my generation) is that I have been somewhat sheltered from her "bad". When I was in my 20s, and jobs were scarce, they were more scarce for my generation. Other generations couldn't really see the job shortage, because it didn't hit them as badly. In Australia, we avoided most of the great recession - we call it the GFC rather than the great recession. In Spain and Greece, they still have it much worse than either Australia or the USA.

Murse

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2015, 07:57:43 PM »
My problem is that it is difficult to compare. When I was in my 20s there was high youth unemployment, it was very difficult to get a first job, and inflation was blowing out the window. Mortgage rates here went up to 18%, and although people paid 3x their income rather than the 5x it is here now for a house, the mortgage rate was so high that it was more difficult then to service your mortgage than it is now - even in Australia where house prices are through the roof.

Here, people in their 20s complain (like this article does) about high student debt (which we didn't have) and the much higher price of houses. And these things are bad. However, each generation has its own bad, and it is difficult to compare. Was my "bad" better or worse than your "bad"?

The problem she has (and a lot of her generation), is that she looks at her parents as they currently are rather than as they were in their 20s. She assumes that her parents have always had it as good as now. And that just isn't so. Her parents are probably exacerbating the problem by giving her money, and helping her to live above her means - the bohemian lifestyle without the money problems people living it have always had. She has been told by the media that the great recession was the worst thing that ever happened, and so she doesn't believe that other places, and other generations have also had it tough.

A problem I have (and I suspect a lot of my generation) is that I have been somewhat sheltered from her "bad". When I was in my 20s, and jobs were scarce, they were more scarce for my generation. Other generations couldn't really see the job shortage, because it didn't hit them as badly. In Australia, we avoided most of the great recession - we call it the GFC rather than the great recession. In Spain and Greece, they still have it much worse than either Australia or the USA.

I agree and am a millennial. I catch my self often looking at the past as if it was always going to turn out well, and look to the future with uncertainty. Logically I know that every generation has uncertainty about the future, unless you have a crystal ball of course.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2015, 09:28:29 PM »
Quote
$10 Negronis
That's never okay.
Quote
Born in October 1979, Im technically part of Generation X, but socially I fit best with the Millennials. /Then a bunch of stuff about growing up with current technology./
Interesting. To within a few months, I'm the same age as this author and I relate to nothing she's written. I remember Alta-vista. I remember AOL dial-up. I remember when floppy disks were actually floppy. I got my first cell-phone long after I'd graduated from college. Oh, and I graduated college into boom times - so I can't play that card either. Didn't have an actual credit card until after I was married...and most important I have never paid good money for a Negroni.


All in all, I call bullshit on her broad strokes depiction of the generational experiences of someone born in 1979. And her taste in cocktails.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2015, 09:57:50 PM »
Quote
Born in October 1979, Im technically part of Generation X, but socially I fit best with the Millennials. /Then a bunch of stuff about growing up with current technology./
Interesting. To within a few months, I'm the same age as this author and I relate to nothing she's written. I remember Alta-vista. I remember AOL dial-up. I remember when floppy disks were actually floppy. I got my first cell-phone long after I'd graduated from college. Oh, and I graduated college into boom times - so I can't play that card either. Didn't have an actual credit card until after I was married...and most important I have never paid good money for a Negroni.


All in all, I call bullshit on her broad strokes depiction of the generational experiences of someone born in 1979. And her taste in cocktails.
I agree.  I was born mid-1981, and I cannot relate to the author at all.  Someone born in 1979, claiming to be a Millennial and suffering the hardships of that generation, I think is justifying her own poor decision-making.  The author chose her path, at a time when many other opportunities were available to her.  I kinda think it's cheap that she's adopting the pain of a generation that she really has no part of.

dcheesi

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2015, 05:31:04 AM »
Quote
$10 Negronis
That's never okay.
Quote
Born in October 1979, Im technically part of Generation X, but socially I fit best with the Millennials. /Then a bunch of stuff about growing up with current technology./
Interesting. To within a few months, I'm the same age as this author and I relate to nothing she's written. I remember Alta-vista. I remember AOL dial-up. I remember when floppy disks were actually floppy. I got my first cell-phone long after I'd graduated from college. Oh, and I graduated college into boom times - so I can't play that card either. Didn't have an actual credit card until after I was married...and most important I have never paid good money for a Negroni.


All in all, I call bullshit on her broad strokes depiction of the generational experiences of someone born in 1979. And her taste in cocktails.
Hmm, something tells me you were ahead of the class --perhaps literally? If you were born in '79 and still graduated college into 'boom times', then you must have graduated younger than most. Or else you were lucky enough to get and keep a job even after the tech crash began in March of 2000...?

vhalros

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2015, 08:35:01 AM »
I do admit that once I paid $3 for a pour over coffee. I wanted to see if it actually tasted any different. Never again.

nereo

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2015, 09:05:19 AM »
Quote
$10 Negronis
That's never okay.
Quote
Born in October 1979, Im technically part of Generation X, but socially I fit best with the Millennials. /Then a bunch of stuff about growing up with current technology./
Interesting. To within a few months, I'm the same age as this author and I relate to nothing she's written. I remember Alta-vista. I remember AOL dial-up. I remember when floppy disks were actually floppy. I got my first cell-phone long after I'd graduated from college. Oh, and I graduated college into boom times - so I can't play that card either. Didn't have an actual credit card until after I was married...and most important I have never paid good money for a Negroni.

All in all, I call bullshit on her broad strokes depiction of the generational experiences of someone born in 1979. And her taste in cocktails.
Hmm, something tells me you were ahead of the class --perhaps literally? If you were born in '79 and still graduated college into 'boom times', then you must have graduated younger than most. Or else you were lucky enough to get and keep a job even after the tech crash began in March of 2000...?

Nope.  The 'tech-crash' and subsequent recession which began in March 2001 was not a particularly bad recession (tiny drop in GDP) and was very short (~8 months) as recessions go.  By mid 2002 the economy was humming along again with the exception of certain tech-heavy sectors.  Note that I was living IN Silicon Valley at the time, and I am essentially the same age as Erica and the writer of this article.

I simply can't get past the author's awful writing style.  The article is filled with run-on sentences, poor punctuation and inconsistent tenses.  I do not empathize with her experiences and I don't agree that my generation somehow has the deck stacked against us.

Digital Dogma

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2015, 09:31:03 AM »
Very bizarre, the author seems to be tooting their own horn that they value a career that they are building towards something intangible. The money part was supposed to appear regardless of spending habits, like living without regard for your income level is a fake it till you make it ordeal. Rubbing elbows with successful people buying expensive bourbon and pastries is supposed to rub off on fellow patrons who recognize eachothers expensive taste. Then to top it off after describing their unsustainable lifestyle and how they cant get ahead they conclude that being a freelance writer suits their lifestyle.

Financing an education then busting all your non essential income on luxury items and services isnt supposed to leave you with any assets. The author thinks they share a common bond with millenials, they share a more common bond with lottery ticket patrons.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2015, 09:33:26 AM »
Quote
$10 Negronis
That's never okay.
Quote
Born in October 1979, Im technically part of Generation X, but socially I fit best with the Millennials. /Then a bunch of stuff about growing up with current technology./
Interesting. To within a few months, I'm the same age as this author and I relate to nothing she's written. I remember Alta-vista. I remember AOL dial-up. I remember when floppy disks were actually floppy. I got my first cell-phone long after I'd graduated from college. Oh, and I graduated college into boom times - so I can't play that card either. Didn't have an actual credit card until after I was married...and most important I have never paid good money for a Negroni.


All in all, I call bullshit on her broad strokes depiction of the generational experiences of someone born in 1979. And her taste in cocktails.
Hmm, something tells me you were ahead of the class --perhaps literally? If you were born in '79 and still graduated college into 'boom times', then you must have graduated younger than most. Or else you were lucky enough to get and keep a job even after the tech crash began in March of 2000...?

I did graduate from uni a couple years ahead of the standard schedule - that's a good point. I forgot about that. But I don't think you can even compare graduating into the tech bubble correction with graduating into the Great Recession. The impact, even here in tech heavy Seattle, was limited and the recovery was pretty rapid in comparison.

In any event, if the author of this article can randomly assign herself to the Millennial cohort based on her "social feels", I don't think it's inappropriate for me to offer my counterpoint based on being a 1979 baby who "socially" fits best with people who aren't idiots have a more Gen X experience.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2015, 09:35:00 AM »
The 'tech-crash' and subsequent recession which began in March 2001 was not a particularly bad recession (tiny drop in GDP) and was very short (~8 months) as recessions go.  By mid 2002 the economy was humming along again with the exception of certain tech-heavy sectors.  Note that I was living IN Silicon Valley at the time, and I am essentially the same age as Erica and the writer of this article....I do not empathize with her experiences and I don't agree that my generation somehow has the deck stacked against us.
Agreed.

nereo

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2015, 09:37:46 AM »
Very bizarre, the author seems to be tooting their own horn that they value a career that they are building towards something intangible.

Left

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2015, 09:42:49 AM »
Sounds like she watched too much TV like sex and the city where the woman CAN go out and spend money... Problem is that every women on the show are in their mid 40s with a professional career...

If they found TV shows their own age, they get sex on the shores; or young, pregnant and broke

My problem with millenials are that too many want what someone else has without the work. None of them want the homeless life so they ignore the homeless... ask how their 20s turned out? No they just emulate old businessmen who already have a career and think that is the norm for life

They aren't un-mustachian to me, just plain unreasonable
« Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 09:48:04 AM by eyem »

nereo

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2015, 09:46:52 AM »
Very bizarre, the author seems to be tooting their own horn that they value a career that they are building towards something intangible.

agreed - very bizarre and incoherent arguments.  I just cannot wrap my head around this particular gem:
Quote
homes have been the biggest source of wealth for middle-class families, and if Millennials dont become homeowners, they are going to need some other way of building assets for the future.

I watched my parents struggle with a home they could barely afford, and I came away with the message that they were worse off for having become homeowners, not better. But as we get older, we realize that adult life is slipping out of reach, whether we want that kind of life or not.
So - the author apparently buys into the myth that owning a home is the biggest source of wealth, then laments how her 'generation' cannot afford homes (despite the lowest interest rates in 60 years), but ultimately concludes that home ownership is a bad idea? 
Even after reaching the conclusion that home ownership is not for her, she regrets that it's not a viable option for her or her cohorts. 

forummm

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2015, 09:50:18 AM »
Sounds like she watched too much TV like sex and the city where the woman CAN go out and spend money... Problem is that every women on the show are in their mid 40s with a professional career...

If they found TV shows their own age, they get sex on the shores; or young, pregnant and broke

My problem with millenials are that too many want what someone else has without the work. None of then want the homeless life so they ignore the homeless... ask how their 20s turned out? No they just emulate old businessmen who already have a career and think that is the norm for life

Also, spending on TV shows is a fairy tale anyway. You can't make enough money with the jobs characters have to support the lavish lifestyles they lead. Carrie couldn't support cosmos and shoes and whatever by writing a stupid column once a week. Ross couldn't afford his own apartment and alimony by being a paleontology lecturer. Rachel could afford the lifestyle working as a barista.

nereo

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2015, 10:12:24 AM »
Sounds like she watched too much TV like sex and the city where the woman CAN go out and spend money... Problem is that every women on the show are in their mid 40s with a professional career...

If they found TV shows their own age, they get sex on the shores; or young, pregnant and broke

My problem with millenials are that too many want what someone else has without the work. None of then want the homeless life so they ignore the homeless... ask how their 20s turned out? No they just emulate old businessmen who already have a career and think that is the norm for life

Also, spending on TV shows is a fairy tale anyway. You can't make enough money with the jobs characters have to support the lavish lifestyles they lead. Carrie couldn't support cosmos and shoes and whatever by writing a stupid column once a week. Ross couldn't afford his own apartment and alimony by being a paleontology lecturer. Rachel could afford the lifestyle working as a barista.

I would love to see someone do a detailed study on how much money many of these TV characters would need to afford their lifestyles.  The sheer size and niceness of the apartments in Friends and HIMYM; the Cosmos, shoes and fashion of Carrie; Lorelai's victorian home and need to eat out for every single meal despite being a struggling, independent single mom.  I'm guessing most were spending in excess of $100k/year if this were RL.

About the only recent scripted show I can think of which follows the lives of 20/30 somethings with any financial accuracy is probably Big Bang Theory; they all hold down university jobs but  they do little more than buy comics, play games and go to ComiCon.  Only one of them even seems to own a car, and their apartment is a walk-up (thanks to Leonard).

nobodyspecial

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2015, 10:43:09 AM »
It's been a popular sociology topic, how USA soap operas all show people  as happy, successful and rich whatever the character's situation while British soap operas and comedies are always about  poverty and struggling, even where the character is an aristocrat.
   
Either its because the Americans are naturally optimistic and aspirational while the British are complaining losers - or the US soaps are produced for advertisers and it's hard to run a BMW commercial in the episode of friends where they are having to sell furniture to pay for the buss ticket to the food bank.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 01:09:19 PM by nobodyspecial »

grantmeaname

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2015, 06:52:26 PM »
My problem with millenials are that too many want what someone else has without the work. None of them want the homeless life so they ignore the homeless... ask how their 20s turned out? No they just emulate old businessmen who already have a career and think that is the norm for life

They aren't un-mustachian to me, just plain unreasonable
Harumph! Get off my lawn!

It seems like in this kind of thread more than almost any other on the site people walk into the thread holding a belief, then post in support of that belief even when it's entirely orthogonal to or even contradictory of the topic at hand. You walked into a thread about a 36-year-old bitching that she's got it too hard and started grinding your axe at me and my peers. She's as close to me in age as I am to today's 8-year-olds.

I've never seen any evidence on this forum that the generations even have enough substance to be treated like meaningful constructs, and I've seen little non-anecdotal evidence that suggests my generation is any worse than yours or any of the others that preceded it. Just like plenty of the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, and Generation X, many Millennials don't have their financial house together. Many people of every generation are entitled, or lazy, or spend beyond their means. You owe all the young people on this forum better than that, just like I owe the Baby Boomers better than the standard refrain about fucking bankrupting my generation because they don't have the gumption to fix the deficit.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2015, 06:53:36 PM »
Also, spending on TV shows is a fairy tale anyway. You can't make enough money with the jobs characters have to support the lavish lifestyles they lead. Carrie couldn't support cosmos and shoes and whatever by writing a stupid column once a week. Ross couldn't afford his own apartment and alimony by being a paleontology lecturer. Rachel could afford the lifestyle working as a barista.

I would love to see someone do a detailed study on how much money many of these TV characters would need to afford their lifestyles.  The sheer size and niceness of the apartments in Friends and HIMYM; the Cosmos, shoes and fashion of Carrie; Lorelai's victorian home and need to eat out for every single meal despite being a struggling, independent single mom.  I'm guessing most were spending in excess of $100k/year if this were RL.

This would be fascinating!  There's got to be something like this out there already.  If not, someone, please write a thesis on this!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 06:55:33 PM by LeRainDrop »

FireLane

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2015, 09:02:51 PM »
Very bizarre, the author seems to be tooting their own horn that they value a career that they are building towards something intangible. The money part was supposed to appear regardless of spending habits, like living without regard for your income level is a fake it till you make it ordeal.

Yes! I got that impression too. She seems to think financial security is something that just happens to you eventually, if you work long enough, and until that day comes it doesn't matter how much you spend. She's completely missing the correlation that the earlier you start saving, the better your later situation will be.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2015, 06:02:10 AM »
Quote
$10 Negronis
That's never okay.
Quote
Born in October 1979, Im technically part of Generation X, but socially I fit best with the Millennials. /Then a bunch of stuff about growing up with current technology./
Interesting. To within a few months, I'm the same age as this author and I relate to nothing she's written. I remember Alta-vista. I remember AOL dial-up. I remember when floppy disks were actually floppy. I got my first cell-phone long after I'd graduated from college. Oh, and I graduated college into boom times - so I can't play that card either. Didn't have an actual credit card until after I was married...and most important I have never paid good money for a Negroni.


All in all, I call bullshit on her broad strokes depiction of the generational experiences of someone born in 1979. And her taste in cocktails.

I was born in 1989 and I remember how much better Dogpile was than Alta-Vista.

I don't know what a Negroni is.

MoneyCat

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2015, 06:08:08 AM »
It's easy to pile onto the Millennials described in the article, but we need to remember the emotional/mental strains that people can be under.  When people don't have the right kind of coping skills, they often turn to stuff like $5 lattes and clown cars to give themselves a dopamine boost to get through another stressful day.  At one point during hard times, I actually considered buying a used Pontiac GTO that I obviously couldn't afford just so I could "feel good about myself" from a socially acceptable consumerist point-of-view.  It takes some rewiring of our brains to reject consumerism and find better sources of stress relief like exercise and entertainment from library books.  It isn't always easy for people to find their way there and to accept the change.  Our brains become addicted to the brain chemicals that come from low effort, high "result" coping.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

grantmeaname

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2015, 06:10:49 AM »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2015, 06:17:10 AM »
I don't know what a Negroni is.
You don't have google?

Yes, like anybody else I can find out most facts within seconds.

grantmeaname

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2015, 06:37:05 AM »
You just choose not to?

Squirrel away

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2015, 07:03:52 AM »
I was born in 1976 and I do think things are harder for my younger sibling (born 1983) as he has had larger student loans and had to cope with high house prices. He is choosing to rent as he cannot afford to buy anywhere close to where he works. I think it's about 50% of young people go to uni now so there is more competition for the decent graduate jobs.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2015, 07:31:20 AM »
Man, I thought for sure, based on the headline, this would be written by a 24 year old millenial, not someone who isn't actually even a millenial who "identifies" as one.

I'm 33 and this article just pissed me off. You aren't getting ahead because you aren't trying. You are trying to live a fantasy life, probably based on an image you got on a TV show. Get out of the city, stop drinking craft cocktails, and stop trying to be a hipster. You're wasting money- that's why you aren't getting ahead.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2015, 07:50:47 AM »
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homes have been the biggest source of wealth for middle-class families, and if Millennials dont become homeowners, they are going to need some other way of building assets for the future.

I watched my parents struggle with a home they could barely afford, and I came away with the message that they were worse off for having become homeowners, not better. But as we get older, we realize that adult life is slipping out of reach, whether we want that kind of life or not.
So - the author apparently buys into the myth that owning a home is the biggest source of wealth, then laments how her 'generation' cannot afford homes (despite the lowest interest rates in 60 years), but ultimately concludes that home ownership is a bad idea? 
Even after reaching the conclusion that home ownership is not for her, she regrets that it's not a viable option for her or her cohorts.

Chances are, their problem wasn't the lack of affordable homes, but their insistence on leveraging to the max for bigger, better homes with all the latest shit packed into them. I wouldn't be surprised if the author simply failed to make that distinction.

Man, I thought for sure, based on the headline, this would be written by a 24 year old millenial, not someone who isn't actually even a millenial who "identifies" as one.

I'm 33 and this article just pissed me off. You aren't getting ahead because you aren't trying. You are trying to live a fantasy life, probably based on an image you got on a TV show. Get out of the city, stop drinking craft cocktails, and stop trying to be a hipster. You're wasting money- that's why you aren't getting ahead.
Hahahaa!! I know, right?
I'm only a few months older and I just kept mentally screaming "wannabe!"

dcheesi

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2015, 08:50:09 AM »
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$10 Negronis
That's never okay.
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Born in October 1979, Im technically part of Generation X, but socially I fit best with the Millennials. /Then a bunch of stuff about growing up with current technology./
Interesting. To within a few months, I'm the same age as this author and I relate to nothing she's written. I remember Alta-vista. I remember AOL dial-up. I remember when floppy disks were actually floppy. I got my first cell-phone long after I'd graduated from college. Oh, and I graduated college into boom times - so I can't play that card either. Didn't have an actual credit card until after I was married...and most important I have never paid good money for a Negroni.


All in all, I call bullshit on her broad strokes depiction of the generational experiences of someone born in 1979. And her taste in cocktails.
Hmm, something tells me you were ahead of the class --perhaps literally? If you were born in '79 and still graduated college into 'boom times', then you must have graduated younger than most. Or else you were lucky enough to get and keep a job even after the tech crash began in March of 2000...?

I did graduate from uni a couple years ahead of the standard schedule - that's a good point. I forgot about that. But I don't think you can even compare graduating into the tech bubble correction with graduating into the Great Recession. The impact, even here in tech heavy Seattle, was limited and the recovery was pretty rapid in comparison.

In any event, if the author of this article can randomly assign herself to the Millennial cohort based on her "social feels", I don't think it's inappropriate for me to offer my counterpoint based on being a 1979 baby who "socially" fits best with people who aren't idiots have a more Gen X experience.
Yeah, I guess maybe my own memory of the tech crash is skewed by personal experience. The company I was working for at the time was sort of a second-order tech company (we supplied equipment to tech providers), so for us the impact was slightly delayed but much more drawn out.

The other reason I was confused initially was that your list of "pre-tech" memories sounded a lot like mine, and I'm several years older. But in retrospect, I have other, even earlier memories to go along with those (Atari consoles, pre-PC home computer devices, legacy rotary telephones, etc.).

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2015, 09:21:18 AM »
I don't even....wtf?!

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weve been deluding ourselves about who really benefits from the system.

Uber's CEO was born in 1976 (a mere 3 years before this "Millennial" author).
Lyft's co-founders were born in ~1984.
Airbnb's founder and CEO was born 1981.
Etsy's Rob Kalin was born ~1984.

I didn't look them all up, but they're all part of the same generation by the author's definition.

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But in fact were enriching the owners of whatever app or platform were using, becoming just a data point on the path to their payday while we age without assets. Its their world, and were just renting it.

Right. And in my city, you save money by biking, not owning a car, and only using a rideshare when you truly need it, not when you want to go to the bar to buy $10 cocktails. You can make a side hustle renting out on airbnb, or save money travelling by doing so. You don't have to sell on etsy unless it's profitable to do so. This article makes me want to punch a wall. I'm a 1990 Millennial, and I'm tired of pissing matches over which generation's set of circumstances had it were the worst while ignoring that much of their lifestyle is totally optional.

ETA: omg grammar
« Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 09:55:11 AM by expectopatronum »

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2015, 09:30:40 AM »

Right. And in my city, you save money by biking, not owning a car, and only using a rideshare when you truly need it, not when you want to go to the bar to buy $10 cocktails. You can make a side hustle renting out on airbnb, or save money travelling by doing so. You don't have to sell on etsy unless it's profitable to do so. This article makes me want to punch a wall. I'm a 1990 Millennial, and I'm tired of pissing matches over which generation's set of circumstances had it the worst while ignoring that much of their lifestyle is totally optional.
AWWWW!
Mic drop suggested

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2015, 09:37:28 AM »
I'm tired of pissing matches over which generation's set of circumstances had it the worst while ignoring that much of their lifestyle is totally optional.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2015, 10:32:21 AM »
My problem with (some) of the Millenials thinking is that they've watched way too much "Mad Men" and think that's how everyone lived from the 50s-90s.  ...Wearing cool clothes, driving shiny cars, and sipping expensive scotch at work.  (Massive fucking awesome times apparently--as long as you ignore segregation, Vietnam, the assassination of pretty much every civil liberties person, Thatcherism, the constant threat of nuclear war, Korea, the oil crisis, that weird extreme jobless recession/depression which seemed to hit from 89-92 which nobody ever talks about, and a hundred other things).  No, watch "All In The Family", "Sanford and Son", "Good Times", and even as far back as "The Honeymooners".  That is how most people lived.

The other thing--these "good jobs" they pine about?  Most young people wouldn't want them.  Hell, I know I wouldn't!  Clock in at an auto-plant at 6:00 AM every day to punch out the same fender year after year until you retire or die?  If you're a minute late the boss can fire your ass. Check your mobile phone while working?  Yeah, right--even if they had them there's no way you'd be allowed to use them.  Work down in a mine?  No fucking thanks.  An ad agency?  Surprise--it's not like "Mad Men"!  You have to show up in a monkey suit (yes, with a tie) and crouch over a drawing desk in a smoky room with 100 other guys.  Feeling a little sick and want to go home?  Well too fuckin' bad.  30 seconds late coming back from lunch?  Shall we dock your pay or do you want to quit right now?

Below is a picture of what the "awesome fucking jobs" really looked like.  ....Shoot me now.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 10:35:39 AM by Kaspian »

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2015, 10:37:06 AM »
Which millenials said that?

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2015, 10:42:20 AM »
Ok but Negronis are delicious.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2015, 10:44:05 AM »
Which millenials said that?

This meme that every 20-something year old in my Facebook feed posted and seemed to think it true.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 10:49:21 AM by Kaspian »

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2015, 10:44:48 AM »
..And these.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 10:47:15 AM by Kaspian »

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2015, 10:50:23 AM »
I'm also about the same age as the author, and her story rings hollow. I feel like I was dealt was poor hand, graduating with a BS in information systems in 2001. I spent four years doing tech support, data entry, loading boxes onto trucks, whatever it took before I landed my first software engineering job. My first ever "professional job" lasted a full three months before I was laid off.

Still, by 2010, when the author was living in the basement of some old home in a shitty hipster neighborhood, scrounging around to find $995 a month to pay rent(while also buying $8 breakfast every morning), I was buying my first home, taking advantage of the real estate bust by locking in great mortgage rates and a ridiculously low price for a nice home in a good neighborhood. It was hard to really relate to anything in the article, even the technology stuff. I got my first cell phone in 2007.

grantmeaname

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2015, 10:54:21 AM »
Is it possible that they are posting the memes because they find them amusing overstatements of reality rather than the because they believe that the memes represent literal truth about the way things were thirty years ago?

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2015, 10:58:04 AM »
AZDude- You sound a lot like what my life was like.

I graduated in 2004 with a degree that could "get me a job anywhere". I had a job offer out of college in my home state, but due to an air force marriage had to move. And that "job anywhere" (middle school math teacher) didn't exist in Ohio.  0 job openings. I substitute taught for awhile and tried to figure out what to do next. So I took my education degree, realized teaching wasn't the only thing I could do and I found a new industry and started at a pretty low salary, but not too bad.

Then I moved again in 2006, found another company in the industry that I got a similarly crappy salary and was laid off in 2008, but stayed in the game by freelancing, got a new job at the same company, then moved to a different company for a raise, did the same thing again for a raise and a "senior" in my title.

In the meantime, I found out that bad advice to my husband screwed him out of his GI Bill, so we paid cash for my Master's degree. (He got a stipend for his PhD. When he got a real job, we pretended he didn't and used the income difference to pay for my degree.)

I'd say now in 2015 I'm doing pretty damn well. We have a ridiculously large house now at a ridiculously low interest rate. It is our SECOND home.  But I have no $8 breakfasts.  I can't even remember the last time we went out for breakfast! (We do go out about twice a month for lunch, and maybe ever 2-3 months for dinner.)

However, I think I got my first cell phone around 1995. But it wasn't "my" cellphone- it was a giant brick my parents put into my backpack if I went to the mall by myself.  By high school I took one of the two family cell phones to school on days I drove myself.  "My" first cell phone was in 2000 when I went to college.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2015, 10:58:22 AM »
Is it possible that they are posting the memes because they find them amusing overstatements of reality rather than the because they believe that the memes represent literal truth about the way things were thirty years ago?

Because they think that everyone before them had it much easier?  ...And I have no idea why trying to point that out (besides its blatant falsehood) is relevant to anyone's own circumstance. 

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2015, 11:08:57 AM »
Is it possible that they are posting the memes because they find them amusing overstatements of reality rather than the because they believe that the memes represent literal truth about the way things were thirty years ago?

Because they think that everyone before them had it much easier?  ...And I have no idea why trying to point that out (besides its blatant falsehood) is relevant to anyone's own circumstance.

The parents of 30 somethings probably had it the worst, with the Vietnam war, 1970s-80s recessions, high interest rates, etc... Every generation goes through tough times. Millennials are just more narcissistic(its actually a proven fact, they are!).

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #45 on: June 29, 2015, 11:09:39 AM »
..Oh, and for the record--I don't even think this is really limited to Millenials.  It seems to be a whole new line of thought this past decade pervasive in Western society--bitch constantly because you think other people got more than you in some regard and because things aren't "fair".  Focus hate, distain, and jealousy towards those who aren't you and your immediate peer group--especially if they're richer, poorer, younger, older.

AZDude & iowajes  --> I think this is normal?  I'm GenX.  Graduated in 92.  Didn't get my first real "good" job until '99.  It was close to 8 years in the wind going crap work.  I even had to go to a food bank twice.  Taking a few years to get something decent is likely not a generational issue.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 11:19:32 AM by Kaspian »

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #46 on: June 29, 2015, 11:33:15 AM »
Taking a few years to get something decent is likely not a generational issue.

Yep- I do think this is normal.  But someone born in '79 should at least be on the way, if not already there.  If they aren't trying to live some bohemian hipster life that involves crazy overspending while not getting a real job.  If she were bitching about student loans, it would make a bit more sense.

I will say I think "millenials" had a harder time "starting out" than previous generations because many of them had really really nice childhoods. They move from their McMansion and don't realize it wasn't their parents starter home. So they want to start in one of their own.  I HAVE seen that issue with some of my friends.  So one element that I contribute to my success is we realized that you start poor and move up.  You don't get to start rich. 

Whereas, my parents had a somewhat difficult upbringing, they lived with big families in small houses. So when they started out, they started out small.  I never wanted for anything growing up; now it wasn't until high school that I think we were "rich", but my Dad was doing pretty well when I was younger too- we certainly never went hungry! But I knew that was because of my parents success, not mine- and while my parents put me on the road to a great start, I had to get it going myself.

So maybe there is some "millenial" attitude to that.  Of course, not every millenial grew up well off, but I think these "boomer/X/millenial" distinctions often are only talking about the upper-middle class.  In any class, someone in poverty will have a very different experience than the magazines are talking about.

Pooperman

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #47 on: June 29, 2015, 11:40:51 AM »
I'm a millennial. Born 1989. Graduated college December 2011. Looked at "entry level" jobs requiring 4 years of experience. Did odd jobs and not much generally for a year and a half. Lucked into a position through a family member starting at $42k. It's now two years later and my salary is $80k. It's not that hard once you start. It's the starting that's hard.

On the other hand, housing is stupidly expensive. Like, $250k buys you a 'starter home' in a decent school district. You know, 2 bed, 1 bath, needs some work. Still, buying a place for about what we pay now in rent is possible, if rare.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #48 on: June 29, 2015, 11:44:31 AM »
Because they think that everyone before them had it much easier?  ...And I have no idea why trying to point that out (besides its blatant falsehood) is relevant to anyone's own circumstance.
Memes are jokes.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #49 on: June 29, 2015, 12:00:27 PM »
Because they think that everyone before them had it much easier?  ...And I have no idea why trying to point that out (besides its blatant falsehood) is relevant to anyone's own circumstance.
Memes are jokes.

Jokes have punch lines.  You know full well the type of meme I posted was meant to convey inter-generational sarcasm/economic commentary where the viewer says, "Oh, it's funny because it's so true!  Those guys did have it better than their parents and us!!"  ...Which spreads another thin layer of bullshittery over peoples' eyes.