I mean, I dunno what you call a smaller city, but in the cities I've lived in (sub 1 million metro populations in poorer areas of the South), that's not really the case. Roommates are super common and a plain 2 bd apartment in a ok part of town costs around $400-500/month (obviously split with a roommate). There's also a lot more competition for jobs in those rural areas because they don't have enough people to fill the positions. While some fast food or service places start near the minimum wage (isn't the case for most), you can pretty easily get $10/hour with just a HS degree and felony-free record.
Now, for people with families trying to live at this level, it's pretty impossible. Requires multiple jobs and help from friends/family to stay above water. But for younger people (as was the example), it's a lot more managable. Out of curosity, where do you live? I've lived in East Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama.
And if you can't pay for your own needs you really shouldn't be making a family and putting children in the world that you can't sustain.
duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"
Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"
Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."