Are wages really flat? I am also curious how many fresh college graduates try to live within their means? Start their budget from the bottom and work their way up? Not to sound to arrogant, but when I graduated, didn't have internet or cell phones, couldn't afford new/er cars, couldn't afford cable, started with 1950's hand-me-down furniture from my wife's grandparent's attic. Didn't go out to eat and didn't take vacations. Played a lot of cards with friends on Saturday nights or hang out with family. So, simple question: how many kids have jumped into expenses they really can't afford?