60% of millennials earning over $100,000 say they're living paycheck to paycheck

  1. I work in the tunnels (construction). All my overtime certainly helps as well as having premium benefits through my union. A large part of my crew and our workforce is in my age range (1990)…

  2. "paycheck to paycheck" also can mean something else the more means you have. Like they're actually saving for retirement and fully insuring things, so a good chunk of their income no longer feels expendable and they don't have much left between paychecks. But they actually have a ton of room to cut to get by at a $30k a year income.

  3. Absolutely matters where you live, housing costs have risen a good 50% in the last 6 years or so. I've been super fortunate to buy my first house after the housing market burst back in the late 2000s and gained a lot of equity as it recovered.

  4. I make 30k a year, pay $1000 for rent, and am doing pretty ok, not paycheck-to-paycheck. I just never buy anything or eat out, basically. :'(

  5. When I was making $15,000 a year in my first job out of college in the mid-2000s I thought I’d be sitting pretty if only I made $30,000 a year. It just bought me one fewer roommate. I lived paycheck to paycheck until well into my 30s.

  6. Makes me appreciate my single mom trying to get by on 30k a year with 2 kids back in the 90 and early 2000s. When you are truly near the bottom, you aren't priced out of existence, you're just a fixture for everyone else to feel better about themselves.

  7. I think we need to crack down on rental property. When you look at living situations and your options are 1) Buy $1,000,000 crap house with a largely cash offer, or 2) pay $3,000+ per month in perpetuity for a small apartment…something needs to change. Most houses in my area are actually rentals. The ones that do sell go way above asking price and are often 100% cash offers.

  8. This is definitely the problem I see in Boston. There’s good paying jobs and a shortage on housing. So the developers buy up the land, and build luxury apartments that rent for $4,000 a month. I’m sure plenty of those tenants would be happy paying for a $2,500, less nice apartment but there’s no supply. All the new housing on the market is just super expensive.

  9. Do you live in Austin? Because that sounds like what we’re dealing with here. I’m 38 and make almost $100k/year and can’t even think about buying a house here. Everything gets scooped up super quick by investors with cash offers $75-150k over asking price. It’s ridiculous and so disheartening.

  10. And its getting worse more homes now are bought by big rental companies then ever before. Home ownership is steadily dropping and if we do not stop it the American dream of owning ones own home will be only for upper middle class and above.

  11. I think this is the biggest problem that needs to be fixed. The banks acquired tons of homes during The Great Recession and instead of selling them they are keeping them as rental properties. There needs to be rules against companies using single homes as rentals and an extra tax on vacation homes.

  12. We need progressive taxation on land/housing to prevent neo-feudal plutocrats from turning the entire population into serfs (pretending that the entire population isn't already comprised of serfs).

  13. I went to grad school in a very lucrative field from a high ranked institution, knowing that I'd graduate with a salary of at least 125k. That was my lower bracket.

  14. Rent is high because cities won't let developers tear down suburban neighborhoods to build high density apartments. It is purely a supply/demand imbalance and it is 100% caused by regulations. Not a conservative or liberal issue, it is 100% middle/upper class homeowners screaming NIMBY any time someone tries to build apartments.

  15. If you make the mistake of getting a job in Palo Alto and have kids that have to go to daycare, you've got $6000/mo in rent, $4000/mo in daycare, and $150k/yr and paying taxes still doesn't leave you enough for food.

  16. Exactly. The number one way to build wealth historically has been housing. It can sustain you for generations. It's being taken away from us by the rich and powerful.

  17. Our rental company just informed us they will be raising rent from $1515 to $1700 because “the cost of doing business goes up.” My rent in this 2BD/2BA 1.5 hours north of Seattle has gone from $1050 in 2012 to $1700 in 2021 and there are no laws that put a cap on the raise.

  18. Maxing out my 401ks because if my wife & I had put anything I to it before 5 yrs ago we wouldn't have been eating.

  19. This is an important point. Millennials have had a lot fewer years to both live and save. And get paid less to boot. Boomers were able to do both, sooner. I'm 31. Next year I reach the end of the tunnel with my student debt. I'll finally be able to live. Between school, work, and debt my entire 20s were lost. Now I have very little time before middle-age to live some of my youth. But I've also got to somehow find a way to get my retirement up to par. And I don't have a house. Or kids. Or even a girlfriend atm. I can absolutely see people making 100k a year living paycheck-to-paycheck. For one, 100k a year isn't nearly as much as it sounds to some people. And for two, millennials are trying to squeeze something good and fun out of the decade or less of youth they have left after getting absolutely clobbered as a result of boomer and pre-boomer policies for their whole adult life to-date.

  20. Regarding glasses. For the price you pay. You are better off taking the family on a medical tourism trip.

  21. If you paid $13K out of pocket then your insurance is trash. And how did your student loans double? And as someone else pointed out, if your homeowners insurance is that high you are being ripped off. Sounds like you need a financial advisor.

  22. Look into Costco for glasses. My ex has had a really expensive prescription her whole life, like over $500 a pair. but at Costco they were extremely affordable. Same with contacts.

  23. College loan debt, then mortgage debt, children late in life, aging parents create a life that would be a Boomer's nightmare.

  24. It's sort of funny the cubicle was seen as the dystopia for boomers but now a days that seems like paradise for people in open offices.

  25. Remove children, and it is not that bad. Also, not having children is a good revenge to the society that betrayed you.

  26. Worse, boomers do have a fucking idea how expensive housing is today since they're disproportionately the ones selling/renting it to the younger generations they continue to fuck over in every way imaginable

  27. That’s insane. Where I live in Nova Scotia Canada I make like $70,000 CAD and my mortgage is $750 a month… for a two bedroom house. It’s not huge but holy fuck that’s robbery for a one bedroom

  28. And that's why I couldn't move back after university... honestly though I miss Portland. I like affordable home buying in Detroit. But my love is Chicago and I feel alive there. Problem is the field I'm in only makes 2,000 more... I only make 38,000

  29. Wow, scrolling these comments there's really two completely different Americas. A lot of folks complaining about their situations but I'm working with bread crumbs compared to the numbers here.

  30. Yep. I'm paying 500 a month in health insurance and that hurts, but a lot of people aren't even in the position to hurt from that expense because they can't. So even if I'm saying I'm cutting it close on expenses, I'm still spending on a lot of things (student loans, etc) that other people can't.

  31. The issue is that even with people who make a lot now, they’re either saddled with student loan debt greatly reducing their average spending amount per month, or if they’re lucky enough to have no loans and bought a house, have a lot of money going towards their mortgage and other expenses

  32. My sister-in-law has a six-figure income working on contract law for the government. She lives in Camarillo California and can't afford a house.

  33. Millennials are adults between 25-40. They have real responsibilities. 100k after taxes ends up being far less than 100k. Throw in $2,000-$3,000 a month rent, $1,000+ a month daycare costs, Student loan repayment, plus all the other monthly expenses and I can see how someone could easily be living paycheck to paycheck.

  34. Don't forget retirement. Well, maybe you have to forget retirement. Don't worry Millennials, keeling over at your desk is an honorable death.

  35. Yep. Take home is around 70% of gross, which is about $5800/mo. It doesn’t go as far as you might think in much of suburbia.

  36. I am around this amount and I totally believe it. School loans + astronomical daycare fees + mortgage = I’m broke af.

  37. I mean, they are mainly earning 100k in cities where that won’t do a whole lot. It’s essentially like making 40-50k in Milwaukee, where I live.

  38. My little brother (gen z) makes good money in construction, he's got a mortgage on a house in the city and is living paycheck to paycheck. I was surprised when he told me that, but shit really adds up.

  39. Right?! It took me eight years to reach six figures (I’m a nurse that had to get a masters and cross into admin to do that) and live in DC. I just bought a house so that I could start building equity- but it took a very long time paying a huge portion of my salary in rent to be able to save for a down payment. A major reason I’m able to save/invest much of anything is that I don’t have a car. But it’s definitely not easy- after retirement contributions and living expenses my paycheck is definitely not the fat bag of cash that 100k once was. Where you live really matters- six figures in a HCOL area is not the same as six figures in middle America (where my salary would be much lower).

  40. The whole country is built around extreme capitalism and each year they need to get better or lose out, and that means getting more and more money from each person. Every person is shown goods they can't afford and ones they can, but always creating a necessity and desire for more, with lots of options.

  41. This is why we need living wage zones instead of a universal minimum wage. $100,000 in San Francisco won't let you buy a studio condo. $100k sounds like a lot but when the cost of a two bedroom condo is $2.5 million, your money doesn't go too far.

  42. This is why we need a universal earned income tax credit, something like $5 per hour across the board to every worker. It's close to UBI, but easier to push for since it goes to workers. And it raises the local wages everywhere, but keeps it so that minimum wage workers in San Francisco are making more than minimum wage workers in Alabama. Also, it helps every worker, and there's no cutoff point where suddenly you aren't getting the benefit anymore.

  43. This seems like a litmus test for aggravation. When Fox News claimed $500K/year is Middle Class, that was worth a solid laugh and a request that Rupert Murdock eat my ass.

  44. This survey was paid for by two private lenders, so forgive me if I don’t 100% trust a poll that shows their most favorable result.

  45. 140k salary - Physician Assistant. Only cost me $180,000 and 6 years post high school for the degree (state tuition undergrad, private grad)

  46. It's clear from comments that regional disparity in the value of a dollar makes any nationwide statistic like this utterly meaningless.

  47. Wife and I make like 85k combined with 2 kids. Can't afford daycare so they go to an in home lady that we know that is over half the cost of daycare. It's rough out there

  48. 100K is still peanuts on the logarithmic scale of wealth, which is the actual economic and political reality that we're living under.

  49. Exactly. Imagine you saw two people fighting over earning 2 cents vs. 4 cents a year, with one telling the other they're selfish and should be living within their means. This is what a billionaire sees us as. Petty and insignificant slaves that are blind to the staggering scale of disparity in wealth. Maybe if we work hard enough sacrifice our entire lives we'll make 6 cents!? and be well on our way to becoming billionaires ourselves! /s

  50. Yeah no kidding. Also in the 40k range and my student loan payments are so high (on a "reduced rate" plan) that I can't afford an apartment without housemates. In my late 30s...

  51. And rural people often do not understand how expensive it is living in citys. I have had a good mix of both. My apartment in Seattle cost me over 25k a year now i live in a town with about 15k people i have a bigger apartment and pay about about 10k a year.

  52. I lived in iowa for a while. My rent was $320/mo, including ALL utilities and internet. I got by, ate out a lot, and saved some money making 18k/year. 43k/year would be killing it there, while literally leading to homelessness in most major cities.

  53. I'm a Gen-Xer earning just under 100k in Boston's "MetroWest". I have a mortgage, two kids and an unemployed husband. Guess where I am.

  54. I wish they went into more detail on some of the reasons why rather than just lifestyle creep. There are many reasons to live paycheck to paycheck while earning 6 figures.

  55. The difference is that it's paycheck to paycheck after accounting for the necessary life planning that anyone SHOULD be able to afford. Yes it's paycheck to paycheck but they'll have retirement, homes, and minimal debt.

  56. Well, when a crappy house is $900.000 and rent is sky high I believe it. Throw in student loans and a 4 cylinder SUV is $50,000. Game over. Better not have any kids, daycare is $1,500/month. You can't afford it. No one can.

  57. I make roughly 111k, but I'm also single, so I have to pay my mortgage by myself. I also have to save over 20% of my income for retirement, and I'm only now on track for that. My debts include my house, my car, and a new furnace. I'm happy to be where I am, but my family calls me the "rich" one when I barely have an adequate emergency fund.

  58. Yeah no one is doing the math and just whining here. 100k just allows you to start planning for the stuff our parents were able to do on half the income back in the day. It's not some insane salary that is buying roles and mercs.

  59. $100k = $67k-ish with taxes, hsa and health insurance taken out. Toss in student loans and high rent and it’s not too hard to imagine. That said, it’s not impossible to save but definitely gotta stay on top of the budget. They toss around that $100k number like that’s what you’re actually taking to the bank. 🙄

  60. I wish I was making that amount, but I can't help but wonder if it's a budgeting issue. I make over 52k a year, but have about 10k in savings and 200 to 500 on hand after all my bills and other expenses are paid for.

  61. On my current pay scale I'll hit 6 figures in another 5-6 years. Since I'm in Central NY it's an OK salary, but if I moved back home to South Florida or moved somewhere like NYC, Seattle or San Fran I'd probably be living check to check .

  62. If you live in a big expensive city and you're single, living without roomates, 100k is not gonna buy you a bunch of luxury. That's not paycheck to paycheck though, unless you have some big debts or healthcare costs or something. Also everyone please stop the older millennial hate!

  63. Student loans that cost me more than my rent and despite paying for two years have only decreased my six figure balance by $700.

  64. Wtf. I mean I understand that inflation and wages have been hitting us millennials hard, but if you’re making over 100k and spending 100k, that’s on you bud.

  65. Some people may only have the high salaries due to living in high cost of living. If you make 40K where you live, someone doing the same job in high cost of living area may be making 70K but still struggling become everything costs more.

  66. They have debts and probably a large share is going into savings/investments for retirement. They are not expecting SS to be there for them...

  67. The only danger Social Security is facing is the Republican party. There is no financial threat to the US Government being able to meet its obligations indefinitely, only political threats to the desire to meet them.

  68. I agree with you, but I don't think the people criticizing understand that most of the people are living paycheck to paycheck after retirement contributions. They think the money is being blown on frivolous things. Where the people being surveyed just don't have disposable income.

  69. This doesn’t surprise me in the slightest- though I wish they would clarify if that includes after retirement contributions. I don’t save nearly as much as I’d like to after my mortgage and other living expenses each month but I do contribute a decent amount to my 401(k). Still not as much as I’d like to (I live in a HCOL area) but taking into account retirement does paint a more complete picture.

  70. On the one hand, I understand that living costs are rising, making it more difficult for people to save money. But on the other hand: what the hell are these people doing with their money? I make around $50,000 a year, and even I manage to save money. I just want to see their budget because I seriously don’t get it…I mean surely, they don’t all live in San Francisco?

  71. I'm 32 and make >$100k in Los Angeles, and I rent a 1bd 1bth for $1450 per month and I can live relatively comfortably without needing to worry about paying bills or not being able to make rent. I live with my wife and have no roomates, but I support my wife 100% while she's in nursing school, and the idea of ever being able to save up enough for a decent wedding(we had a court wedding and would like to have at least a little small one) AND a HOUSE in the Los Angeles area keeps feeling more and more unattainable. My immigrant parents are barely getting by so I will be receiving absolutely NO financial support from them for any help or investments in the future. If anything, I will likely need to help support them as they get closer and closer to retirement age. I do continue paying into my 401k but I don't even think of that as money I have because I won't be able to touch it until retirement age. Anytime I feel like I am actually able to start saving some cold hard cash, some bullshit happens like rats chewing out the wiring in my car or my dog getting IMHA and needing to pay thousands even with pet insurance for his treatment, which was for naught since he passed anyways. The only light at the end of the tunnel is waiting for my wife to finally get her degree and start working so we can start that DINK life, dual income no kids. And don't even get me started on how we'll be able to adapt our lifestyles and financials to having kids. I'm grateful for what I have and I'm in no way complaining about my situation, but I wanted to give insight into my situation and show how even $100k isn't enough today, especially in a major city like Los Angeles that has a high cost of living, to get what past generations took for granted and were able to attain. It's definetly not enough to get rid of that nagging feeling in the back of the brain that tells you you're only one bad day or luck away from poverty or prevention of upward mobility.

  72. Gen x too. It's hard being single, particularly when your rent is 2k per month. Almost a quarter of my income. No child tax credits. Limited deductions. It's expensive to be single. Don't get me started on the exponential cost of feeding yourself.

  73. Most people don't get anything other than the standard deduction anymore. And child tax credits mean fuck all, even at $3,600 / child / year that's roughly 3 months of daycare in most mid-sized or larger metros.

  74. It's so crazy how entitled these millennials are, like they don't know the value of a dollar. Anyone from India, Afghanistan, or Florida will tell you 100k should pay all of your expenses for years. Anyone born before 1970 will tell you that 100k will pay for a graduate degree, a house, and still have some left over to pop out a few kids. The cost of life is the same everywhere and never changes! It's not that hard if you just pull up your bootstraps and sell drugs or start an OnlyFans account or something oh God our generation is fucked

  75. What a joke. My family of 5 makes less than that. It’s because they’re narcissistic, indulgent assholes who spend every dime they make buying shit. Sorry, but not sorry. If you’re single making $100k and you live paycheck to paycheck you’re living beyond your means and it’s your own fault. No accountability having mfers!

  76. There’s also a stigma against inter generational housing in America so that’s a big part of the problem as well… for those with the option to, they still turn it down because “you’re still living with your parents” attitude

  77. As a millennial earning much less than $100,000 I can say I am living paycheck to paycheck without guilt now.

  78. Unless you live in SF or maybe NYC, no reason to live check to check at $100K+ unless you have piss poor spending habits or tons of children (4+)

  79. I am a younger millennial, almost gen z, not living in the overpriced cities but my salary is approaching $100k. I do live in a Midwest largish city.

  80. That makes sense considering these people probably pay thousands of dollars for housing if they’re making 100k most likely within an industrialized city. I mean a 1 story house in the middle of Seattle goes for over a million.

  81. I can understand that, I live in Scottsdale AZ and rent here is insane. 2.3k/month for a 2 bedroom. And Phoenix got a lot more expensive so you can’t even buy anything descent under $400k in Scottsdale.

  82. Gen X here: we started succeeding later than our Boomer parents, but it looked like we might eventually hit the mark. Some of us bought houses and had 401ks and all that happy horseshit.

  83. … which makes earning so much more than in Europe on average completely worthless. I rather earn less but also pay less for living. In Germany if you earn 100k you’re all but set.

  84. The lesson which seems to be agreed upon in the comments is CHILDREN ARE EXPENSIVE... I don't have kids and I live fine on 6 figures. Both me and my girl split the mortgage so it's not that bad. I'm definitely not living paycheck to paycheck. If I had to pay for healthcare, school, childcare, etc, I too would probably be struggling. But instead I have a nest egg and take nice trips every year. Kids aren't worth it in my opinion.

  85. Male about 75k. Where are these magical six figure jobs? Not paycheck to paycheck on the city I live in though. Able to save about half of my check if I want to every check

  86. so that's like what 60% of like 5% of millenials that are actually making 100k a year? maybe? like I wish I was making that, ~40k a year and pretty much paycheck to paycheck.

  87. I live in a neighborhood where the houses are $800k. People drive BMWs and have boats and other toys. Most owners are under 40. I can believe they are living paycheck to paycheck.

  88. Your neighborhood is not indicative of the way most millennials live. I am 38. Most of my friends are in high paying jobs requiring years of school and experience, yet I don't know a single one who own an 800K home.

  89. Sounds like the consumers that capitalism thrives on. That being said, my rent alone is 20k a yr, then there are student loan payments and other expenses. I'd kill for 100k right now a year... lol

  90. Millennials making 100k aren't buying sports cars or traditional luxury goods, though... the biggest lifestyle creep is in the form of housing. I will admit that millennials who are in a position to buy homes tend to have pretty high expectations. But on the other hand, the "starter home" market is pretty dismal. Who wants to pay $300k for a dilapidated 1950s rancher with foundation issues that's an hour and a half away from their job? Homes closer to the city are almost all rentals.

  91. My brother inlaw and sister are this. They have horrible spending habits. Buying bullshit when they get a bonus instead of paying off mortgage or just buying bullshit all the time. Because "they can afford it" they eat out at restaurants when they have a fridge full of leftovers they literally will throw away home smoked pork beef whatever the First night

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