Woman Explains Why Young People Can Still Afford 'Nice Things' Despite Not Making Enough Money

Instead of investing in their futures, Gen Zers are quickly realizing they won't be able to afford certain conventional expectations.

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A woman has responded to the routine question she gets from older generations whenever they ask how Gen Z can spend their money on so many things.

In a TikTok video, a NYC-based content creator named Maria Melchor revealed that young people nowadays aren't working jobs that provide a substantial cushion of money but rather have resigned themselves to the fact that they will never achieve certain aspects of adulthood.


She explained that young people can afford to buy 'nice things' because they can't afford anything else.

"When older people ask me how young people are affording nice things that they wouldn't even buy for themselves, I tell them it's because we can't afford anything else," Melchor began in her video.

She explained that when it comes to buying a home and starting a family, those two things are slowly becoming out of reach and highly expensive.



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According to Redfin, the U.S. median home price was $408,732 in November 2023. It's an increase of nearly 4% over last year even though there were over 300,000 fewer homes on the market. When it comes to starting a family and raising children, a study from SmartAsset found that in some parts of the country, the cost of childcare now tops $30,000 a year.

The average cost of childcare is $9,051 per year, and according to the Department of Labor, the price of childcare represents between 8% and 19.3% of family income per child.



Melchor pointed out that a lot of young people have accepted the fact that these parts of life are unattainable and instead of using money for a down payment on a house or childcare, they're investing in themselves


"We're using that money on whatever it is we can afford that will bring us a semblance of the kind of adulthood we were promised," she continued. "When houses are a million dollars plus an older couple will likely outbid us anyway, we're gonna relinquish any lingering delusions about home ownership."

Melchor claimed that instead, young people are choosing to spend their money on other things, including buying their dogs all of the treats, toys, and accessories they could possibly want. 

Gen Zers have admitted to wanting to buy a house in the future but realized they won't be able to afford it.

According to respondents in a Bankrate survey conducted by research firm YouGov, most members of the Gen Z and millennial generations — U.S. adults between the ages of 18-26 and 27-41, respectively — do want to own a home someday, or even right now. Their biggest roadblock is affordability.

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Nearly three-quarters (74%) of American adults still view homeownership as a top hallmark of achieving the so-called American Dream, beating out the ability to retire (66%), a successful career (60%), and having children (40%). Only 35% of respondents named obtaining a college degree as a key sign of economic success.



Gen Zers largely claimed that their income wasn’t high enough yet, while millennials primarily blamed rising home prices.

Similarly, many Gen Zers have admitted to believing they are starting further behind financially (65%), according to an online survey by USA Today from The Harris Poll.


"They're telling us they can't buy into that American dream the way that their parents and grandparents thought about it — because it's not attainable," said The Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema, who added that "an entire generation feels like they're coming of age in sort of this fractured, divisive world."

In terms of financial pressures, many young people are feeling less inclined to invest in their futures because they have zero faith that the cost of living will work in their favor and many of the things that mark adulthood, including buying a home and starting a family, are faraway dreams.

This shift in priorities highlights that, unlike previous generations, Gen Zers have no problem thinking about their now and veering away from conventional expectations.


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.