Woman's Honest Take on "How They Get By" in Today's Economy Is a Reality Check

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Dec. 5 2023, Published 11:04 a.m. ET

A woman explains how people afford life — and it's the biggest reality check.
Source: TikTok / @loc_rants

Is the astronomical spike in the price of every bloody thing making you sick to your stomach? The mind-boggling surge, especially the staggering heights of the cost of living, has reached such a nauseating level that even a mere $20 price tag leaves most people queasy.

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In November 2023, TikTok creator Heather (@heathersidehustleskeptic) went viral for sharing a list of different things she's had to give up due to inflation. And now, fellow TikToker @loc_rants is echoing the sentiment, shedding light on how people have quit buying things altogether just to make ends meet.

A man frustrated by his debt.
Source: Getty Images
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This woman unveiled the harsh reality of how people scrape by to afford life.

The content creator, who we'll refer to as Loc, started off the video with a stitch of another TikTok user who bluntly asked, "How are people affording life right now?"

Loc unabashedly fired back, "We can't afford life. So we've just stopped. We've just stopped buying things, which is delightful because the companies don't know what to do about that."

"I think it's important to remember that our previous generations, our parents, were able to do things like get a credit card with a two and 3 percent interest rate so they could do things like live above their means a little bit because they knew ... they were going to get that two or 3 percent annual raise and then be able to pay off that debt," Loc said. "We don't have that. We don't have that."

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Loc exposed the shocking truth that prevailing business models are built on the assumption that people are willing to plunge into debt for desired products and services. However, she debunked this notion, citing the staggering number of Americans shackled by crippling student loan debt.

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"We already have our debt. You have an entire generation of people who have entered their 30s and 40s with tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt they will never repay because it's at a 7 percent compounding interest rate," Loc added. "We're not going to put things on our 24 percent interest-rate credit cards. We're not going to do it."

Loc concluded, "We are surviving, and we are finding new ways to define success, and we are building communities, and we're staying at home, and we're going to our local libraries, and we are just hand-making things, and it's going to be what it's going to be like this year. My Christmas present to my family is the plane ticket to get there."

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TikTok users agreed that the cost of living has spiraled out of control.

At the time of writing, Loc's video has accumulated over 1.4 million views and counting. The video has also received more than 3,800 comments from fellow TikTokers who, like Loc, are opting to save their money or spend it solely on essential items for survival.

"My parents used to call it living from paycheck to paycheck," one person said in the comment section. "I'm living from paycheck to the next hour."

"Everything goes up but the wages"
Source: TikTok
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A second TikTok user wrote, "My husband and I have been just choosing which bills we can afford to be a little late on and alternating which bills actually get paid."

"My bills are all [the] bare minimum, I only buy food," a third TikToker shockingly added. "I'm 35, and I'm still wearing clothes my parents bought me in high school."

In a startling admission, another person grimly confessed, "We're putting basic food and grocery items on the credit cards 'cause we have no choice. I'm going into debt (more) to feed my family."

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"Recently watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, every year more and more do I understand Clark’s reaction to not getting his bonus."
Source: TikTok

"I have had zero life for SO long, cut out so much... [and] that's the only reason I 'save,'" someone else lamented. "If I lived 'normally' (what is that even,)... I would be busted."

What do you think? Do you agree that the cost of living is outrageously high?

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