The economy has shafted millennials: now it wants their offspring too

(436 Posts)
CarryOnNurse20 Thu 23-Sep-21 18:44:15

AIBU to ask your opinion on this article?

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/23/economy-millennials-children-low-birthrate?CMP=fb_cif&fbclid=IwAR1C57OgCdGCGhSr5uVLI5tRVeMCq-eNtyyxEuUiYOjYgSn5P2w3yMHQeTM

As a dreaded millennial and a mother I find it very sad and very true for a lot of people I know.

OP’s posts: |
sst1234 Thu 23-Sep-21 18:50:32

The article is simply disingenuous. The same people saying that having fewer children is good for environment are now complaining about the low birthrate. You can’t have it both ways.

Millennials have many other disadvantages that older generations did not, we can all see that. I think it’s simply that having children as a life plan just doesn’t exist for people like it used to. And this has been a phenomenon in other countries like Italy and Japan for decades. Even China has this problem now. It’s not restricted to millennials in Western Europe of this country so let’s not make it about one generation.

chocolateorangeinhaler Thu 23-Sep-21 19:02:24

Hmmm well I have my theory that this has slowly been ticking away like a time bomb since the mid 70's.
Obsession over house price increases has got to the point where nobody can afford a house until in their 30s. My parents bought their first house in 72 when they were 19 & 21. That's unheard of now. Every stick of furniture was second hand and they didn't have a TV for the first six months. People nowadays wouldn't accept living like that.
We've been brainwashed into being consumers with the fear that your not 'normal' unless you have the latest must have thing. The amount of people in debt because of keeping up with the Jones's is scary.
Childcare is extortionate in the uk compared to other countries. Schools are over subscribed and there is the constant underlying whispers that the environment is shot and any future generations won't make it. No wonder people don't want to bring more humans into this mess.

CarryOnNurse20 Thu 23-Sep-21 19:26:03

@chocolateorangeinhaler I sometimes wonder whether people want luxury things (eg smartphones, large tvs etc) because at least these things are within reach and can give a tangible result of hard work. Because deposits need to be so high and houses are so expensive they’re almost so beyond reach people don’t bother to save. I dare say the vast majority of people (certainly my friends and myself) would prefer to have an affordable house and cut back significantly on other things but that’s not an option really these days.

OP’s posts: |
blubberyboo Thu 23-Sep-21 19:35:23

Every generation has had its own problems

My mothers generation had to give up work when they married and didn’t get any decisions in finances. Many of them didnt know how to operate a bank account.

I was one of the first years to encounter student loans rather than grants and we were given very scant information about what it would mean.

For my first baby I was only allowed 18 weeks paid maternity and yet this article complains about the paternity leave. Paternity leave was unheard of 20+ years ago and childcare options weren’t very plentiful. We’d only started letting men into labour wards really.

Our generation had the boom and bust credit crunch on the housing market causing many of our age to spiral into debt and unemployment and losing their homes.

Earlier generations had much less quality of life but perhaps simpler times.

Every generation has had its ups and downs

Annoyedanddissapointed Thu 23-Sep-21 19:38:28

We are getting balmed foe everything.
The one which made me eyroll so hard I thought I will end up with permanent damage was on Twitter.
The Telegraph going on about millenials and houseplantsa and peat. The Telgraph lovws to write about us🙄

blubberyboo Thu 23-Sep-21 19:39:36

@chocolateorangeinhaler

I agree with the furniture thing. People used to scrimp a deposit and then begged and took donations of everything from second hand crockery to big furniture. Nothing matched and it was just the way to start out.
You moved in and decorated a room at a time or not!

Now everyone wants an Instagramable house Mrs Hinch style. And weddings in the tens of thousands.

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MyPatronusIsACat Thu 23-Sep-21 19:40:01

Genreration X has been fucked over at every available opportunity too.

dementedma Thu 23-Sep-21 19:42:12

My sister and I have 8 millenial children between us, aged between 31 and 19. Not one has had children. ( or is married). Its just not on their agenda.
31 year old dd still lives at home. At 31 I was married with 2 kids
Things change

CarryOnNurse20 Thu 23-Sep-21 19:49:55

@dementedma do you not think that’s partly because the cost of having children and the circumstances a lot of people are at that age (eg living at home, in a flat share, often renting, 0 hours contracts etc.) dictates that not being a possibility rather than because people just don’t want kids these days.

OP’s posts: |
iago Thu 23-Sep-21 19:51:51

We bought our first place in 1974. It was a flat - a house conversion. It cost about £7,000 and we had to borrow a thousand from my in-laws to get it - and put down a deposit. Even though we were both teachers, it was hard to get a mortgage. We had second hand everything for years and, for a few years, no holidays - in fact, we used to spend our hols working in our in-laws' businesses. Later mortgage rates went up to £15% which was tough, as incomes hadn't gone up. By then, as a single parent, I did private tutoring and working for the e Census to make ends meet.

Obviously things are really tough for young people today, but I didn't find it easy in the 70/80s either. And my children will benefit greatly when I die from the sale of the house unless the income is all used up in care home fees!

lannistunut Thu 23-Sep-21 19:53:52

CarryOnNurse20

*@chocolateorangeinhaler* I sometimes wonder whether people want luxury things (eg smartphones, large tvs etc) because at least these things are within reach and can give a tangible result of hard work. Because deposits need to be so high and houses are so expensive they’re almost so beyond reach people don’t bother to save. I dare say the vast majority of people (certainly my friends and myself) would prefer to have an affordable house and cut back significantly on other things but that’s not an option really these days.

There is research to support this - most people can't choose between avocado or buying a flat, they can have avocado and rent a flat, or no avocado and rent a flat.

The logical thing to do is at least enjoy the fucking avocado whilst handing 40% of your wages to your landlord!

Islamorada Thu 23-Sep-21 19:57:43

The millennials are not the most resilient of the generations. There would of course be exceptions. See what their priorities are. I cringe 😬

wellards Thu 23-Sep-21 19:57:46

I worry about the ageing population, the NI hike is just not going to cut it & that's now. In 30 yrs there will be fewer young people.

I think it's ridiculous that a 20 something has to pay ££££ for university & yes they don't have to go but employers need to stop making degrees pre requisites. Then pay ££££ whilst they save ££££ for a house with a 30 yr mortgage. They also should pay ££££ into a pension scheme which is less favourable to them & look forward to a state pension at 70? Plus the NHS won't be free at the point of care or free prescriptions over 60 in 20 years time.

I'm lucky mine are European so they have some chance of making a better future & I would encourage any young person to look abroad but than that compounds the issue with an ageing population.

wellards Thu 23-Sep-21 19:58:37

* Even China has this problem now.*

Hence why China introduced a three child policy in 2021

binkydebonky Thu 23-Sep-21 19:58:52

MyPatronusIsACat

Genreration X has been fucked over at every available opportunity too.

How so?

wellards Thu 23-Sep-21 20:00:57

* I sometimes wonder whether people want luxury things (eg smartphones, large tvs etc) because at least these things are within reach and can give a tangible result of hard work*

I think there's an element of that plus many of these "luxury" items don't have luxury prices these days. Having a TV & flying abroad nowadays cannot be compared to the past when you have cheap TVs & budget airlines.

wellards Thu 23-Sep-21 20:04:06

* Now everyone wants an Instagramable house Mrs Hinch style. And weddings in the tens of thousands.*

Do they though? I was helped with a deposit & bought younger so had lots of 2nd furniture & cast offs. However if I'd been in a flat share for 10 years & was buying at 35 whilst working non stop I probably would want to buy the odd new thing in John Lewis. I do that now

EatYourVegetables Thu 23-Sep-21 20:05:11

www.bankofengland.co.uk/monetary-policy/inflation/inflation-calculator

According to this, £7000 in 1974 would be about £74 600 in 2020.

I don’t think there are many houses or flats you can buy today for £74 600, avocado or no avocado.

Monkeytennis97 Thu 23-Sep-21 20:06:21

chocolateorangeinhaler

Hmmm well I have my theory that this has slowly been ticking away like a time bomb since the mid 70's.
Obsession over house price increases has got to the point where nobody can afford a house until in their 30s. My parents bought their first house in 72 when they were 19 & 21. That's unheard of now. Every stick of furniture was second hand and they didn't have a TV for the first six months. People nowadays wouldn't accept living like that.
We've been brainwashed into being consumers with the fear that your not 'normal' unless you have the latest must have thing. The amount of people in debt because of keeping up with the Jones's is scary.
Childcare is extortionate in the uk compared to other countries. Schools are over subscribed and there is the constant underlying whispers that the environment is shot and any future generations won't make it. No wonder people don't want to bring more humans into this mess.


Agree.

My parents bought a house in '71 for £3,500. DF had professional quals but DM was in typing pool.

DH and I (both teachers) bought first house in '96 for £55,000 (I believe as gen X we were the last to be able to afford to buy in our 20s). We had second hand furniture from DH's nan and two single beds pushed together. Bit by bit we got stuff for our house. Teacher colleagues of mine in their early 30s still renting and trying to get deposits together for starter homes at £200k plus. I feel so sorry for them. House price rises have massively outstripped increases in earnings. The 15% mortgage interest argument in the late 80s didn't last that long. Yes it was tough then but the massive house price increase has hugely benefitted baby boomers.

Monkeytennis97 Thu 23-Sep-21 20:06:52

EatYourVegetables

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/monetary-policy/inflation/inflation-calculator

According to this, £7000 in 1974 would be about £74 600 in 2020.

I don’t think there are many houses or flats you can buy today for £74 600, avocado or no avocado.


Exactly what I say to DM....

Lanique Thu 23-Sep-21 20:07:24

MyPatronusIsACat

Genreration X has been fucked over at every available opportunity too.


I'd be interested in why you think that.

As a Generation-Xer myself, I think we've been incredibly lucky; free university education, better and cheaper student loans, many of us bought just before the housing boom, and so are now are in the late stages of paying off low interest rate, cheap mortgages on what are now expensive houses. We still have a chance of a fairly decent state pension too.

Plus we grew up without social media and THE BEST music grin

wellards Thu 23-Sep-21 20:07:28

* I don’t think there are many houses or flats you can buy today for £74 600, avocado or no avocado.*

True dat!

Monkeytennis97 Thu 23-Sep-21 20:09:21

Islamorada

The millennials are not the most resilient of the generations. There would of course be exceptions. See what their priorities are. I cringe 😬


Bullshit.

If I were a millennial I would definitely feel hard done by compared to the earlier generations. I'm so lucky I had a free university education.

MintJulia Thu 23-Sep-21 20:09:37

I have 17 millennial nephews & nieces. Only two have children (one each).

The others are working abroad, in the forces, not married, doing post-grad research, not interested in children. Five have their own homes so they have the space but mostly they are focussed on having a good time. The two who have children are the oldest. The others seem to regard children as something to do, late 30s or 40s.

None is pining for the chance to have a baby as far as I can see.

The Guardian article seems to have been written by someone from an older generation with different expectations.

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