Even since the men returned from WW II America has based its life and lifestyle around an ever expanding economy, encouraging people to buy and buy, and making wealth, or the appearance of wealth, the standard by which success was judged.
Ever since 1980, the government began to shred the safety net of unemployment benefits and welfare. All the while the cost of college and health insurance kept increasing. Wages for the top jobs continued to increase significantly, but the pay from everything below that stagnated or even decreased.
All I can advise is for folks to try their best not to get exploited. As much as possible find a job you enjoy doing. The rest is to do everything else in moderation. Skip some $200 concerts. Make coffee at home. Cook for your friends and have them cook for you.
Also, if you can manage to save a few thousand dollars, invest it, even if you just buy an index fund. Put in $50 a month if you can. Can you do $25? It will make a huge difference in 20, 30 or 40 years.(Don’t buy GameStop).