Millennials catch a lot of flak for their avocado toast and selfie-obsessed culture, but you may want to cut them so slack. Millennials are more financially behind than any generation that came before them, causing them to delay life milestones and even rely on their parents for financial support. Here are just a few financial struggles millennials have to overcome that older generations never had to deal with:
The average millennial salary is $35,592 a year
While U.S. wages have seen a 67% increase since 1970, unfortunately, the growth hasn’t kept up with the rising cost of living. Rent, houses and college tuition have all increased faster than U.S. incomes, and millennials are struggling to make ends meet. Millennials’ annual salaries are an estimated 20% lower than the average salary for a baby boomer at the same age.
The average millennial has a net worth of $8,000
According to Business Insider, millennials are more financially worse off than any other previous generation. The net worth of individuals between 18 to 25 has plummeted by 34% since 1996, and most millennials have less than $8,000 to their name. Millennials have less wealth at their age than the generations before them.
The average millennial has less than $5,000 in savings
While a majority of millennials have a savings account, over half of millennials have a balance of less than $5,000. Considering nearly 45% of millennials have student loan debt, they are unable to set aside as much money as they’d like. According to one survey, if given $1,000, more millennials would prioritize using it to pay off debt over saving it.
The average millennial has staggering student loan debt
Since 1980, the cost of college in the U.S. has more than doubled. According to Student Loan Hero, student loan debt reached a staggering national total of $1.5 trillion in 2019. As a result, millennials are unable to save for emergencies, buying a house or having children as they prioritize living debt-free.
If you’re between the ages of 26 and 40, your financial situation may seem bleak. However, saving an emergency fund can help. Setting aside a small amount of money each paycheck and aiming for three to six months of living expenses is one of the most important steps you can take to get your finances in order.