A new study finds many people under age 35 are taking on less debt than they did before the big economic downturn.

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Pew Research also found younger consumers putting off car and home purchases.

"The fact that their income is not as good as it was in the past, coupled with student loan debt, is making it very difficult for them to have the same standard of living," Rider University finance expert Maury Randall says.

Unfortunately, many in this demographic are not seeing the kind of better-paying job opportunities that were available in the past.

The notable exception here, of course, is student loan debt. Young people in their 20's have racked up well over a trillion dollars in this troubling area.

What is unclear is whether this reluctance to buy into the big ticket house or car will cause a downfall for the economy somewhere long-term.