The TikTok user questioned why we’re ‘allowing’ life to get so expensive

Man reveals he ‘cannot afford to live’ despite making over three times the minimum wage


Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@nicsmnrs

An infuriated TikToker claimed the ‘American dream is dead’ as he revealed he can’t ‘afford to live’ despite earning three times the federal minimum wage.

Life is expensive. I think we’ve all heard enough jokes about giving up iced coffees and treats from Target to get on the property ladder to know that.

But when you stop making jokes and start looking at the reality of costs, it can feel like you’re never going to earn enough even for the most basic expenses.

TikTok user Nicholas Sumners put those feelings into words in a viral video he shared last month, when he asked viewers to explain to him in ‘crayon-eating terms’ why he ‘cannot afford to live’.

Sumners claimed he made three times the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, putting his income at around $22 per hour, or $3,520 a month working 40-hour weeks.

“I do not want to hear the ‘pull yourself up from your bootstraps, work 90 hours a week [arguments]’, that’s not the goal guys!” Sumners said in his video. “That should not be our standard.”

Nicholas Sumner argued working 90 hours a week is 'not the goal'. (TikTok/@nicsmnrs)
Nicholas Sumner argued working 90 hours a week is ‘not the goal’. (TikTok/@nicsmnrs)

The TikToker went on to say he was ‘tired’ of people being ‘complacent’ over government parties which were ‘f***ing [residents] over’, and pointed out that when his parents were his age, they both lived alone despite making ‘less than half’ of what he makes now.

“I cannot afford to live anywhere alone,” Sumner continued. “A one-bedroom apartment: $1,800. Two-bedroom apartment: $2,200. Who the f**k can afford that?

“It is embarrassing to come out and say that it is a struggle to survive right now, but I know so many people are struggling,” he continued.

“And do not get me started on what my grandparents were doing. They [bought] a $3,000 house.”
He questioned why we're 'allowing' the high costs. (TikTok/@nicsmnrs)

He questioned why we’re ‘allowing’ the high costs. (TikTok/@nicsmnrs)
Sumner made clear that he understood the impact that inflation has had on increasing prices, but questioned: “Why are we allowing it?”

“We have lost it, folks, we have f***ing lost it,” he said. “The American dream is dead. It is over. Gone and forgotten.”

Sumner’s video has clearly resonated with viewers, having racked up more than 11 million views since he first shared it last month.

Viewers also responded with their own thoughts about what people can afford with minimum wage, with one writing: “We’ve completely lost the plot of what minimum wage was intended for. It should be like $30/hour by now if it actually kept up with the cost of living.”