"We are finding new ways to define success and we are building communities."
Inflation has strained countless American households, forcing many to ask each other the big question: “How are people affording life right now?” A TikTokker named Loc_Rants responded by reframing the current moment into something more hopeful.
They believe we can get through challenging times by turning away from consumerism and focusing on what matters.
Loc_Rants describes themself as a “non-binary Christian Commie” and regularly creates videos on how economic life for the Average American has changed over the years.
The video begins with TikTokker Blaire Allison asking how people can afford to live right now, to which Loc responded, “We can't afford life, so we've just stopped buying things, which is delightful because companies don't know what to do about that,” Loc said in a video that’s been seen over 1.3 million times.
She then noted that older generations had credit cards with much lower interest rates so it was a little easier to get by during tough times. She’s right in saying that interest rates on credit cards were lower in the past, but her 2 to 3% quote is much lower than history would indicate.
#stitch with @Blaire ✨ Allison #millennial #america
However, she’s spot on when she says that credit card interest rates are too high these days. The latest data from Bankrate shows that the average retail credit card interest rate is at a record high of 28.93%. “We're not going to put things on our 24% interest rate credit; we're not gonna do it,” Loc said in their post.
Even though the topic of Loc’s post seems bleak, it comes with a silver lining. The current economic environment allows people to rethink their relationship with American consumer culture and find value in things that matter, such as family and community.
“So we're not we're not living, we are surviving and we are finding new ways to define success and we are building communities,” Loc says. “We're staying home and we're going to our local libraries and we are just hand making things and it's gonna be what it's gonna be.”
Like many people, Loc’s Christmas gift to her family this year is her presence and that should be more than enough. “This year, my Christmas present to my family is the plane ticket to get there,” they said.
The post resonated with many in the comments who are making significant changes to their spending habits due to inflation. "We're quiet quitting consumerism," Smcsparrow wrote. "Previously buying brand new stuff, but right now just rather spend it on thrift stores to at least have stuff," Monique added.
"I’m thrifting most things and avoiding retail stores like the plague," MsSunshine58 wrote.
Even though inflation has posed a significant challenge to millions of Americans, Loc’s video provides a realistic ray of hope. Many of us may be in survival mode, and even though it isn’t optimal, it offers the opportunity to find joy in handmade and personal experiences and to realize that success and happiness come in many different packages.