What if Millennials’ aversion to car-buying isn’t a temporary side effect of the recession, but part of a permanent generational shift in tastes and spending habits? It’s a question that applies not only to cars, but to several other traditional categories of big spending—most notably, housing. And its answer has large implications for the future shape of the economy—and for the speed of recovery.
Read more. [Image: Kagan McLeod]
It’s safe to say that a decent number of Tumblr users are a part of the Millennial generation. So, tell us: Do you own a car or house? If not, why?
IT’S BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO DISPOSABLE INCOME YOU THUNDERING IDIOTS. Fucking preference has nothing to do with it. 50% of college graduates have no job! They all have the most student loan debt ever! What are you asking this question for?!
Also: housing is a good bit more expensive now.
My parents got a 15-year mortgage on a new house in the mid-70s. The house was $32,000. Average home price in that area now? $190,000.
So, home prices went up. Food prices went up. Health care prices went WAY UP. Rent prices went up. Higher education went up so damn high that some of us forgo that all together. Energy prices went up. Car prices went up.
Prices of prices went up.
We also pay cell phone bills, internet bills, data plans, text plans, online subscriptions, cable/satellite tv, netflix, DVR subscriptions — bills that didn’t even exist 30-40 years ago. We also use computers and smartphones and microwaves and other consumer electronics that didn’t exist 20-50 years ago.
We need medications and doctors and contact lenses and tampons and maxi pads and other things that cost money just to be alive and keep us healthy.
Most of us can’t afford to:
- Get married and have a “Traditional” big wedding
- Buy a house
- Buy a new car
- PLAN to have children
- Take two, consecutive weeks of vacation.
Jobs that paid 50k in the late 1990s now pay between 30-35. Interest rates that favor consumers have gone down.
So I say, no. We are not choosing not to buy homes. We’re not choosing to take the bus in cities where there’s no good public transit. WE ARE NOT CHOOSING TO LIVE WHAT SOCIETY DEEMS AS AN UNDESIRABLE LIFESTYLE.
Don’t even get me started on the fact that these two people in the picture are young white hipsters. Young black and brown folks have been forgoing homeownership and buying new cars for decades, this shit isn’t new, pal. You’re just acting like this shit is new because it’s hitting white folks.
anyway, my point is: We are fucking broke.
There’s also the fact that buying a house ties you to one spot. Jobs are so transient, you have to be able to move for a new job in case you lose your current one. the lady who does our taxes can’t understand why we don’t own a house. We’ve moved four times in the last six years. once across the states to california, then from LA to San Jose, then a short move to RC because my husband’s job moved to San Francisco. Can you imagine if we were trying to buy and sell houses in those places every time we moved? It’d be insane!
I’ll never get over the state of hostile confusion from the previous generations when our lifestyles depart from theirs. We don’t do this stuff because it’s FASHIONABLE, we do it because it’s either that or STARVE.
It’s absolutely ludicrous that anyone would pin the life changes people have had to make on TREND and not on what’s absolutely NECESSARY. What everyone else has said up there pretty much sums it up. My parents were getting paid more in their profession in the 70s than what companies are paying them now. We lost our home back in 2008 and have had to cram five people into an apartment ever since. The rent for this place is high; we have just enough to pay for rent each month, and we’re often behind on bills simply because we don’t have the money to pay them. We eat very cheap — bread and soup, more often than not, and this has been going on for years. My mom has to do all freelance work because she can’t take on a regular, in-house job because someone always has to be around to watch my youngest sister, whom is mentally delayed. The only job I’ve been able to get within the last year and half has been a little coffee place that pays crap. I’ve got a lot of medical expenses on top of this and try to help my parents out when I can.
Don’t you DARE even JOKE that people are not spending prices on high market items/houses/etc. because they don’t want to. It’s because we CAN’T.
I think I’m the best paid out of all my friends and even I can’t claim more than maybe lower middle class lifestyle, at best. Forget a house, I’m not sure how I can afford more than a single bedroom apartment even WITH a roomate. The thought of children makes me ill not because I’m against the possibility, but the cost of being pregnant and raising a child is insurmountable right now. I have to tailor my lifestyle to maximum mobility in case shit crashes around me and I have to chase jobs across state or even country lines. Kids aren’t conducive to that. Houses aren’t either.
Hell, I was iffy about purchasing a /fridge/. A fridge was nearly too big a commitment. It can’t fit in my car if I decide to move again. For the first time in years I bought furniture which might last more than 5 years because I realized I wasn’t going to move in 12 months.
A house is a pipe dream for me. A distant thought I dare not fantasize about because it depresses me so greatly. Family is small and local. I can’t visit my family across the country more than once a year because of travel costs. I’m utterly disconnected from my roots because there was no job prospects for me there in my field.
And yet somehow I’m in a better position than most my friends, some of whom have ended up forgoing food for days, or even homeless. The fact that I live independently with only one roomate (boyfriend), have a roof over my head, and I’m able to save even a little money and pay my bills is the exception of my generation, not the rule.
And I came from an upper middle class family. I had the headstart and I’m floundering anyway. Those who didn’t…shit.