millennials buying a house shaming bachelorette parties

Another Day, Another BS Article About Why Millennials Can’t Afford a House

This time: Bachelorette parties!

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In terms of irritating, pointless, overtrodden article subjects, the issue of why millennials can’t afford to buy a house may be second only to major outlets trying to get inside the minds of Trump voters.

According to these journalists, millennials have a lot of interests that cost them the ability to be homeowners. Interests like avocado toast. And coffee. A new report, paid for by housing website Zillow and promoted by the Today Show, has a new, equally bullshit answer: We can’t afford houses because of all the bachelor/bachelorette parties we go to.

On the one hand, these parties can be exorbitantly expensive. I’m not the kind of person who can afford to attend a destination bachelorette party, let alone the nine the report says the average person attends in their life, and I’ve made my peace with that. If I tried to anyway, I would have far more credit cards maxed out than I already do and yes, that could get in the way of any plans to eventually buy a house.

On the other hand, the Today article asked in a sub-headline “Are bachelorette parties the new avocado toast?” and the answer is YES in that neither of those things is why this generation isn’t buying houses, but both are ways for older generations to shame us for enjoying our lives in a world that is markedly different than the one they came up in.

There are a lot of things that millennials are dipping into their saving for. (Or that are preventing them from having savings at all.) Sure, choosing to celebrate your friends’ weddings might be one of them. Choosing to have a wedding in the first place is another, seeing as the average cost of that event in the U.S. surpasses the cost of those average nine bachelor(ette) parties combined. Choosing to eat what you like to make sure you feel happy and nutritionally fulfilled on a daily basis could be another, although neither the math nor the priority-shaming of meals vs. housing costs really works out.

But if we’re going to keep doing studies and writing articles about What Millennials Are Doing Wrong to Prevent Them From Succeeding in the Exact Ways Their Parents Did, can we please at least acknowledge how different those worlds are? Can we acknowledge that if I wanted to buy the house I grew up in, I would have to have pay close to 10x what my parents paid for it, while wages have not increased by anything close to that degree?

If we’re going to talk about why millennials aren’t buying houses, we have to talk about these issues. This generation is not doing the things the same way that our parents and grandparents did. Some of that is dues to a shift in priorities, but much is due to economic circumstances created by the very generations criticizing our choices. The world feels like it’s on fire all the time, and many of us an unreasonable pressure to live up to the standards of a world that no longer exists. If we want to eat avocado toast at every meal, and if we want to celebrate our friends hitting one of those still-existing milestones, just fucking let us.

(image: Anete Lusina from Pexels)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.