"Everybody has accepted it as a reality," says Kent State University junior Tyler Norris.
"We cut cable in our house, I quit going out to eat altogether. My entertainment budget right now is down to Netflix."
The lack of a summer job impacts their short term spending, and their concern over the job market after graduation impacts their long term spending.
"I'm realistic that I might not have a job when I come out of school," he says. It really is daunting, there's nothing else I can say, it's daunting."
Economists say the way we spend money as young adults shapes the way we consume for much of our life.
"The anecdotal example is the the so-called depression babies," says Case Western University economics professor Nicola Lacetera.
"They developed a lower rate of risk taking in their decisions late in life, all because of what they saw in their formative years."
For Tyler, a last minute cutback by his planned summer employer has left him with no income stream for the summer, so he's moving back home.
"My summer game plan turned from an A to an F."