Raise your hand if you've been a part of this scene before: a friend complains to you "ugh, I'm so annoyed that I'm going to have to dip from my savings account this month," and you're looking at her like she's speaking in in Pig Latin. Sav-ings? You repeat silently, sounding it out like you've never heard it before. "You have a savings account?" you ask, a mix of terrified, embarrassed and confused. You and your friend then stare at each other for an uncomfortable amount of time, challenging each other with raised eyebrows to figure out who is the insane one.
"You don't?" Your friend turns it around, incredulous. No, you don't have a savings account. Your checking account is barely in the positives so a savings account seems like a pipe dream at this point. On the off chance that you do have some money left over in your bank account after the rent check goes through, you'll blow it on clothes, an expensive dinner, hell — forget the lavish purchases, you're most likely going to treat yourself to some toilet paper. If there's money left over after the essentials you might even pay off a parking ticket or two.
No, you don't have a savings account. It's not because you don't believe in saving — it's because you don't have anything to save. But do not fret, you are not alone. Here are some statistics regarding twentysomething's finances from 253 people polled in Money Under 30’s 2015 Millennial Money Survey, guaranteed to make you feel a lot better about your bank account:
Fourteen percent of surveyed twentysomethings were not saving at all, and only 17 percent were saving more than 20 percent of their paychecks. If you're not saving, you're also not in the minority. Your friends who have their sh*t together are probably just a little louder and prouder about it than the ones who don't.
Freaking out about how you'll be paying back the government forever? You're not alone. Forty-seven percent of twentysomethings polled are paying off student loans, and the average student loan debt is over $36,000. The good news is that you can defer loans, and that paying them off will actually improve your credit faster than your student debt-free peers.
Credit Card Debt
Before you beat yourself up over that overdraft, you should know that 31 percent of surveyed twentysomethings are in credit card debt. On average their debt is around $3,700. It may seem like a lot, but if you put yourself on a budgeting plan (or use a handy money budgeting app), you can take care of it with time and patience, and it'll seem like no big thang.
Jealous of all your friends' raging vacays on Instagram? Odds are they're not footing the bill. Forty-six percent of twentysomethings polled made under $25,000 a year. Only two percent made over $150,000. Just because you aren't rolling in the dough now doesn't mean anything — you've got your whole life to afford that Wolf On Wall Street-style yacht.
Only 43 percent of the surveyed twentysomethings had a reported traditional, full time job. If you've gotten that far, pat yourself on the back — and if you haven't, know that you are nowhere near as alone in that struggle as you think. But hey, things are looking up: despite all of the postrecession struggles of our Millennial post-grad generation, 2015 seems to be the first year that the job market is starting to ripen up again for recent college grads. Go get 'em!
All of this isn't to say that twentysomethings are doomed. It's just to remind you that you're not alone. Don't feel bad if you don't have a savings account, continue to work your ass off, save when you can and make smart choices, for you.