Generation Y: An Inheritance of Debt, A Culture of Debt

October 12, 2012

Written by Lauren Pierce

As the November election grows closer and closer, I can’t help but to stop and compare our current economic condition to the one that we had four years ago.

As a college student who is about to graduate this May, my outlook on going into the “real world” is a much bleaker one than it was four years ago.  With a stack of student loans and an extremely weak economy, May is becoming a dreaded month for myself and many other future college graduates.

With an average of over $25,000 in student loans, 85% of recent college grads will be moving back in with their parents upon graduation.  Many of my college-educated friends are unable to find jobs or are forced to take jobs that underpay them to simply bring in some sort of revenue.

This isn’t the situation that most college students had in mind for themselves.

Our parents were able to work through college and graduated without the burden of student loans unlike my generation.  Student loans, because of skyrocketing tuition, have now grow to over $1 trillion, surpassing credit card debt.  But that isn’t our only debt- the national debt is now over $16 trillion, not to mention the millions upon millions that local governments have accrued across Texas.  My generation will begin our working lives in one of the worst economic situations that this country has ever faced because of elected officials who were elected before half of us were even of legal voting age.

Of my college-educated friends who have found employment, the majority of them still aren’t financially self-sufficient.  Parents continue to help with phone bills or car payments because they are living beyond their means while working jobs that require little more that a high school diploma.  Those who don’t have the luxury of their parent’s help have outrageous credit card debt and usually cars loans, which they pay the minimum on each month.  As for big life events?  It’s not unheard of for twenty-something’s to charge weddings, rings, and extravagant honeymoons to their credit cards or even finance them if that’s an option.

While we may or may not have learned much from our college classes, we certainly have picked up the spending habits of this current government administration.  Many of us are living beyond our means and that can’t end well for anyone.

For the federal government to live within its means certainly requires individuals to follow-suit and live within their means as well.  We need to get back to the days of only spending the money we DO have and not simply the money we WANT to have.

Generation Y has been called a generation of debt, but even worse it has become desensitized to the burden that debt truly is.

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