Higher rents and the need for deeper pockets are part of the charm associated with city living, but urban pricing aside, it is possible to live in any city regardless of your age or income; it just takes a little budgeting and prioritizing. Surrendering to lifestyle flexibility may be unattractive, but sometimes it's necessary. It's easy to "keep up with the Joneses" when financial responsibility is someone else's problem. The fact is, my peers who flood out of designer stores, arms adorned with shopping bags, wouldn't be able to afford their purchases without ringing up a massive credit-card debt. By continuing to provide for their twentysomething kids, parents hinder their children's ability to be financially responsible. If you don't learn to budget early on, what will inspire you to do so when your finances become your own prerogative?I get the impression Jessica's somewhat more hard-nosed about this phenomenon than I am. It's already considered socially acceptable to have people spend some 25% of their lives with the intense support of their parents; a few more years hardly seems like a big deal to me. There's something abstractly romantic about financial independence, but I don't know that I'd wish it on anybody.
There is something to be said for writing that rent check each month and knowing you've managed to live comfortably on your own terms. Racking up $500 shopping sprees on Mommy and Daddy's credit card may have its momentary allure, but the adult part of me believes that working for what you have is much more rewarding than being handed it on a silver platter. And I have my own mom and dad to thank for that.
What I will say, though, is that this sort of thing highlights the absurdity of worshipping "success" the way people sometimes do in this country. As often as not, people who seem successful have, in fact, succeeded at very little beyond sustaining the momentum that they were born into. And by the same token, people who seem like "failures" tend not to have failed at anything in particular, but often have managed not to slip further down the economic ladder despite various inherited disadvantages.
To also get in a swipe at the media, here, one really gets a sense for what segments of American society the mainstream media represents when it seems to them worthwhile to run an essay complaining that parents are giving their big-city-dwelling kids too much money. While I'm sure that credit card debt is a problem for a lot of households, it's not like the problem for most people is that their credit card debt is underwritten by their parents.
Update: Because this made me laugh, I'm going to say it's related.