The impact inflation is having on younger Americans

Mar 28, 2023, 9:00 PM

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Inflation is causing younger Americans to not safe for things like an emergency. Dave & Dujanovic talk to a financial expert FILE: KSL TV

SALT LAKE CITY — Many Americans are struggling financially due to inflation. Specifically, what kind of impact is inflation having on younger Americans? 

Sarah Foster, a U.S. economy reporter for Bankrate.com, joined Dave & Dujanovic with hosts Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic on Tuesday to discuss how younger Americans are dealing with the current day financial struggles. 

“Inflation affects the vulnerable,” Noriega said. “And the most vulnerable is typically the youngest generation right before they’ve really been established in a career. Or getting into a home, whatever it might be.”

Dujanovic sites research from Bankrate, in which 72% of those between the ages of 18 and 42 say they can’t afford to save for emergencies because of the rise of inflation. 

Dujanovic welcomes Foster to the show by saying “This is quite the pickle that the younger generation is finding itself in.”

Younger Americans stuck in so many financial situations

Foster says younger Americans have been caught in the middle of so many economic events. From the great recession of 2007 to 2009 to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

“And I think what you have here is a generation that was already set back by those events,” Foster said. “But here comes inflation and it’s making it even harder for Americans to get a handle over their finances.”

Noriega asked, “How much of this do you think is culture? …. I wonder how much pressure is being put on us because we’re trying to keep up with the Joneses?”

“I think you could say that some of that is there,” Foster said. “But I think it’s also just kind of pressure for younger Americans to feel like maybe they were able to do the same that their grandparents or their own parents were able to afford.”

According to the Fed, Foster says the net worth of a renter is 40 times less than a homeowner. 

“That statistic that you just gave us from the Fed is staggering,” Dujanovic said. 

Tips to reach financial goals

Noriega asked, “As young Americans are trying to reach these financial goals, do you have any tips? Besides work 80 hours a week.”

“I think it can also help us feel a little bit more empowered by focusing what we can control rather than what we cannot control,” Foster said. 

Foster says those people should continue to treat themselves, but in moderation. Additionally, she says focus on the habit of saving. Even if it as a little as $10 to $20 a month. 


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

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The impact inflation is having on younger Americans