Young Americans are venting their frustrations about inflation online and posting viral TikTok videos offering helpful hacks to combat the rising cost of goods at stores.
Venting his anger on TikTok, an influencer by the name of WorldofBrian asked his audience to guess how much he spent on just five basic grocery items: cereal, milk, deodorant, washing detergent and a pack of toothbrushes.
He then revealed a receipt from a Target in a median-sized city suburb, which amounted to $51.05.
Brian calculated that a minimum wage worker in his state would have to work almost a full day to make the small purchase.
“If you’re making $40,000 a year, if you’re making $1,000 a month, $12,000 a year like people on social security—this is beyond struggling,” he said. “This is beyond tough times and suck it up. This is a matter of, for a lot of people, survival.”
He noted that when factoring in housing costs, car payments and other necessities, people are starting to have to make “really scary decisions.”
In another viral clip, influencer Woods Owned posted “proof inflation will ruin us all” and gathered several videos of Americans concerned about rising costs.
One woman in the video also discussed her experience at Target, where she purchased two bottles of hair product, a bottle of shampoo, a box of trash bags and one Halloween decoration for $70.
She said that her son had been shocked by the cost of the tiny grocery bag and noted he doesn’t remember a time when Americans could get a two-bedroom apartment in a decent area of town for $600 a month (her one-bedroom is now $2,000 a month).
The woman also revealed that she spends $65 to fill up her gas tank and her grocery bill went from $350 to $600 in the last four years despite buying the same items.
“This s—t is out of control,” she said. “What does the bourgeoisie think that the outcome of this is going to be. They cannot possibly believe that extracting every last dime out of the working class by inflating all of the prices and paying us poverty wages is a sustainable economic model.”
A November Federal Reserve Bank of New York report found that young Americans experience inflation at higher rates than other demographics.
In October, households headed by someone under 25 experienced inflation at a rate .35 points higher than the average. Household costs, in particular, have stretched young Americans thin, with those under 40 being far more likely to rent than own a home.
Young Americans are now releasing viral videos that show their peers how to save on everyday essentials and mitigate the effects of inflation.
In one video posted to social media, TikTok business influencer Gary Bird went to Walmart to see how much money he could save by buying generic-brand groceries over name brands.
Bird initially purchased several name-brand products, including waffles, frozen pizza, soda, chocolate milk, orange juice, fruit snacks and brownies. At checkout, his receipt amounted to $130.
But when those same items were replaced with generic alternatives, Bird had to pay only $87, a whopping $43 in savings.
TikTok user Adrienne1131 gave her own grocery hack that can be achieved at any store with an international food aisle.
In a video posted to her account, Adrienne revealed how garlic salt and minced onion found in the general spice aisle were $3.49 for 3 oz and $6.89 for 6.3 oz, respectively.
But when entering the international aisle, she found that 11 oz of garlic salt was being sold for $3.19 and 5 oz of chopped onions was going for $2.99.
Personal finance podcast host Andrew Giancola offered up another idea to fight inflation and told his audience to increase the amount they invest each year, at least by the current or previous years’ inflation.
For example, if somebody invested $100 a month into a brokerage account and inflation that year is at 2%, that person would invest $102 to maintain their buying power the next year. If inflation rose to 9% the following year, that person would need to multiply 102 by .09 and invest an additional $9.18.
Inflation remains the top issue for a large swath of Americans, according to a number of polls.
When asked for the annual Reagan National Defense survey which problem facing the country was the most important, inflation and the price of gas and groceries came in at 16%, tied with jobs and the economy, among respondents.
A November Fox News poll produced similar responses, with most voters expressing concern about inflation and higher prices. Three-quarters of respondents said the economy is in bad shape, while two-thirds said they didn’t see anything to suggest economic conditions were headed in a positive direction.
Overall, 89% are concerned about inflation. While that’s about where the level of concern has been hovering for the last year, it’s down from a high of 93% in July 2022.