One reason why millennials delay marriage and family has to do with cost.
A home is no longer 4x income but, say, 12x. And saving for a down payment takes much longer. Rent too has gone up so that a 2-3 bedroom townhome or equivalent could be $4000 + all sorts of fees. It makes it FEEL unaffordable since the cost of living has risen fast since the 90s.
However, I also think that millennials as a rule can afford children, but they’d have re-shape their whole lives. If they are DINKY, one partner would probably need to work part time. They may need to move out of a very expensive city to a cheaper one, get new jobs.
They probably will never travel for vacation or eat out—except on special occasions. They will thrift for clothes; they will sew, tailor, do their own woodwork, make their food, formulate their own skin care products, cut their own hair (a barber is not affordable anymore), etc. It’s a whole life rethink. But it’s not a BAD one. Just different.
And I’d argue it will make the former DINKY parents more resilient and capable. Eventually, it might be possible to live on a single income. Probably in Downtown Van or Toronto, that might not be reasonable, but elsewhere, it still seems possible. Again, re-training ourselves to avoid purchasing anything new, reusing all that is old, building and formulating our own products—that seems required to live in a Canadian city as well as in many places in the UK and the USA.
This change will take a radical reshaping of how we think of money, quality of life, and more. It’s not “easy” but we no longer live in the 80s and 90s when many of us grew up, where by comparison, we had a higher quality of life.
And look: that did not end well for the prior generation. The majority of Baby Boomers only have between $5–100,000 for retirement in Canada, but rent could cost $5000 per month in a decade, so this insufficient to retire.
So let’s eat our avocado toast and live fiscally responsible while making a tonne of babies so that we can take care of the Boomers who spent all their money on luxury without saving! (This is as joke because I am reversing the stereotype, so please don’t take this too seriously and become offended).