This isn't news to anyone, but Toronto is expensive as all hell. Forget youth being wasted on the young, I think Toronto is wasted on the people who can actually afford it.
Naturally I am not one of those people. Oh sure, I get by. But I can't help but feel I should be doing a little better by age 24. Like I should be able to afford a modest bachelor that is not a dive. But alas that's too much to ask. And it's not just rent. Everything is more expensive here. A transit pass is $100 a month! Luckily there's a No Frills near my place or I'd be subsisting on ramen noodles by now. Of course there are ways for a gay man of my age to make big money fast, but I'm not that desperate yet.
There was a series in The Star recently about youth debt and, surprise, I'm not the only one deep in the hole:
Turns out, there is reason to worry and it's not all the fault of today's youth. "Wages of younger workers for all levels of education decreased significantly during the 1980s, the trend continued although at a diminished rate through the 1990s," concluded a report by Industry Canada.So what solution do they offer? Spend less and save more. Simple. But there's one problem: I only get to be young once. Sure I could just bank it all, and then, in 10 years, when I'm good and secure, I could party my ass off...Oh wait, that's not socially acceptable either!
Exacerbating the situation, the same study pointed out, was the youth unemployment rate -- twice that of the general population.
This is a double whammy for young people. As their wages were declining relatively, from the early 80s through to 2005, the Consumer Price Index increased by 74.9 percent from the early 1980s through to 2005. With less money coming in and more money going out, the crux of the problem starts to come into focus. (Source)
Was it this hard for people my age 20 years ago? My gut says no, but really it's impossible to say for sure. What I do know is that it's hard as fuck now. Am I going to stop having fun? Hell no. If I have to evade student loan payments for a while so I can enjoy my youth, that's the way it's going to be. After all, what fun is it to save all that cash if you haven't saved any wonderful memories?