It's never been much of a surprise that young people have little to no savings: they often make less money than older folks in the work force, and have fewer immediate responsibilities to plan for (eg., saving up to house a family, children's college funds, looming retirement, etc.). But a recent survey found that, while most young millennials (age 18-24) don't even have a savings account open, and overall most millennials have zero dollars in their savings accounts (age 18-34). But older adults aren't doing much better.
Sixty-two percent of people overall have less than $1000 in their bank accounts, which doesn't cover a whole lot of emergencies. If you live in New York, chances are very high that figure won't even cover a month of your rent, plus utilities.
And the empty savings account data doesn't start to shift until people are making $100,000 a year or more. The data is even pretty equally split amongst men and women, with women having a slight edge on being able to save more.
The Google Consumer Survey was conducted by a personal finance website called GOBankingRates.com, which, based on its judgey interpretation of the data, is most certainly run by baby boomers.
"I recognize that it can be tough to save money," said GOBankingRates columnist Cameron Huddleston. "But that’s exactly the reason you need to be proactive and actively work to make a change with your savings."
"[P]eople should automate their savings — have a certain amount automatically transferred from checking to savings each month," Huddleston added.
Oy, so, what about people who don't make the salaries that provide surplus funds, after basic necessities are paid for, for saving? The numbers aren't this dire because we're all impulsive idiots who can't plan ahead; it's because an uncomfortable majority of people are living paycheck-to-paycheck, due to an economic crash, high rent costs, astronomical tuition rates, and paltry salaries for a highly educated workforce.
And as MarketWatch reports:
"Among those who had savings prior to 2008, 57% said they’d used some or all of their savings in the Great Recession, according to a U.S. Federal Reserve survey of over 4,000 adults released last year."
But sure, 22-year-olds getting hired out of really expensive college to work 22-hour days for $22,000 a year should definitely be putting 10 of their paychecks into their savings accounts automatically. Who needs to eat when you have vague future financial security?!