A recent New York Times article poses a riddle:
How does anyone, even those with a stable, upwardly mobile job, let alone a family, afford to live in places like New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco or Washington, D. C.?
To which the supposed answer is:
Many are bankrolled, to varying degrees, by their parents.
There’s truth to this statement, and I’ve noticed this phenomenon first hand amongst my peers and my NYC Money Diaries analysis.
The thing that irks me, however, is the one-sidedness of the article. The only examples presented in this article are 30-something millennials that receive support from their parents, or those that are not and thereby feel stuck.
What’s missing? How about showing some 30-somethings that aren’t supported, but are still able to “keep up” with their peers? And how about describing the choices they have made in order to do so? The omission of what I’m calling a “new minority” type of 30-something just perpetuates the idea that it’s impossible to get ahead without parental support and downplays the agency each individual has over their own personal finances.
While I’m not a 30-something yet and can’t claim to have never received “help” from my family after graduating college, I graduated debt-free because my need-based aid covered 100% of my costs and I am planning to purchase my own home in New York City this year without any help from my family, which I also help support financially. It has required considerable sacrifice to do so, but it’s possible.
This is also why I’m writing this blog. It’s not just a reminder to myself, but also to tell the story I think isn’t being told enough. Upward mobility is not straightforward these days, but it can still be achieved with ingenuity, sacrifice, and fortitude.
Thank you for reading and I hope that you find some encouragement while you’re here.