Weekly Ztat

Can I crash at your place? 

Evaluating living situations for the most independent generation to come into adulthood with no independence. 

Can we make crashing on your parents’ couch cool? With the way housing prices are heading, we might have to. The New York Times reported a third of our generation is living at home (and plans to stay) thanks to the ever-growing cost of living. 

In a recent congressional hearing, US Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Marcia Fudge said, “today it is harder to find an affordable home in America than at any point since the 2008 financial crisis.”  

We wanted to put the findings shared by the New York Times to the test with our Receipt Network. In July 2022, we found 65% of our Receipt Network is currently living with family or relatives, doubling the NYT figures. The average age of our network is 18-19 years old. 

They certainly aren’t alone. Our findings were supported by similar figures from Pew Research, which showed moving back in with Mom and Dad reached new heights across generations at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For those living independent of family, they’re spending an average of 40% of their income to do so (Source: The Receipt Network). 

Even when we’re living on our own, we aren’t really alone. 30% of respondents are in shared living spaces, and nearly one-third of those living with roommates still spend over half of their income on housing. 

Stephanie Gong, JUV’s Director of Production, has had to get creative with housing to stay within her financial means. “My partner and I lived with my parents for a month in transition to a 2-bedroom, which we shared with another couple, during the pandemic…It’s so tough for me to figure out what should be done but I’m one for making sure that I have a clear picture of my finances and what I need to budget month-to-month and sticking to it,” she said. 

Merely 4% of respondents reported living independently without roommates, and they spend over half of their income on housing in 5 out of 6 cases (Source: The Receipt Network). 

94% of these respondents live in suburban and urban settings, where the cost of living can be the most devastating. A study from PYMNTS found that 65% of Gen Z respondents are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and the study was conducted ahead of the recent inflation spike. 

It has never been more expensive to be a budding adult. Our Gen Z in the Workplace Yellowpaper found that 58% of our generation is currently completing or recently completed a college education. 45% of us are working part-time while in school to make it happen. Meaning, we don’t even have the luxury of a full-time income to offset the cost of living. 

Noorie Dhingra, JUV’s Director of Innovation, is making a move to NYC this fall, “I stayed at home for the last 3 months and saved about 95% of my paychecks from multiple jobs, and now it’s all going to housing,” she said.    

There is no doubt that Gen Z is shaping up to be a generation of passion and drive, but these trends could mean we had no other choice. 

The data collected from the Receipt Network featured 144 respondents from 26 countries. These results are not generalizable to all of Gen Z, but help contextualize findings from other studies. Data collection was open from July 22nd through 24th of 2022 as part of JUV’s Weekly Ztat, where we gather quick-pulse data from our Receipt Network of over 5,000+ global Gen Z’ers. 

Sign up for The Receipt here.

Steph Strickland

Steph Strickland is the Director of Research at JUV Consulting and currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts. At the age of 22 (aka her Taylor Swift year), she is working toward her Master’s in Media Science from Boston University. Steph is known for getting way too excited about well-organized spreadsheets (…it’s just so satisfying…) and will use her inquisitive nature to incorrectly guess your zodiac sign. Her favorite part of the job is connecting the science of data with the art of storytelling to spark something transformational.