Millennials get a ton of flack for our poor money management — we're ruining corporations by shopping local! We're killing the diamond industry by recognizing that engagement rings as an advertising scam! We're threatening the debt industry because we prefer to pay for avocado toast in cash rather than get a credit card! Uh, yeah, aside from those perfectly reasonable responses to collective economic trauma, we're also willing to give up much more to protect our coins. A recent survey from financial services company Comet found that millennials would end a relationship for a raise of $37,000, on average.
On a recent visit to my old college roommate, I wound up confessing to her mom at a winery that, in hindsight, I felt hideously embarrassed, dumb, self-indulgent, and naive to have enrolled in such an expensive university just for the prestige of it. But the recession hit our junior year and we had no way of knowing we were setting ourselves up for financial ruin! She comforted me by saying, "Another way of looking at it is that you guys were willing to give up a lot for an experience that you believed you had a right to, and which you deserved for much less sacrifice." The results of Comet's study, which surveyed 364 single, employed millennials, highlight just how much millennials are willing to give up to dig themselves out of that debt.
41% Of Millennials Would End A Relationship For A Significant Promotion
Respondents said that they'd put off a relationship for 11 years, marriage for seven years, and children for eight years if it meant they could receive a significant or life-changing promotion. But love isn't dead! A whopping 86 percent of respondents said they'd move if their partner was offered a better job in a different city. Seventy-nine percent agreed to move to a different state, while 59 percent said they'd leave the country for a significant other's job prospects. So personal finances aren't necessarily the endgame. Millennials clearly value combined incomes, too.
32% Would End A Relationship For A Significant Raise
Millennials reported that, on average, they'd end a relationship for a $37,000 raise, would delay children for a $67,000 raise, and would delay a relationship for a $36,000 raise. Naturally, women had much, much higher stakes, and rightfully so. Our biological clocks demand a $95,000 raise to delay having children, whereas men only required a $37,000 raise to delay kids.
Most Single Millennials Don't Have Time To Date And Believe Their Prospects Are Bad Anyway
When asked what their reasons for being single are, the overwhelmingly popular responses from millennials in all age groups and across gender lines were "I'm picky," "I haven't found someone or dated much," "I haven't found someone I liked enough," and "I don't go out enough."
The study extrapolates that this is because one in three millennials are working side gigs, which means that most of their time is eaten up by work. Others are frequently entry level employees at their jobs, which means they wind up pulling long hours to be perceived as "paying their dues." They simply don't have time to forge meaningful romantic connections.
Queer Millennials & Millennials With Graduate Degrees Were More Likely To Choose Career Over Relationships
In every scenario that was posed — relationship versus promotion, relationship versus. raise, and long-term relationship versus career opportunity — gay and bisexual millennials were more likely to choose career strides over partnership than their straight counterparts. This makes sense in a marginalized population. Queer millennials are more likely to be poor, less likely to be in good health, more likely to be estranged from their families, and thus less likely to have a financial safety net or a good support system. It follows, considering those obstacles, that they'd prioritize financial independence above romantic relationships.
Millennials with a graduate degree or higher were also more likely than their less educated counterparts to choose career over relationships. That makes sense, too, considering how much money they've already invested in their educations and, by extension, careers. It's understandable that they'd seek to make that sacrifice feel "worth it" by pursuing their careers to their fullest extent, rather than hold themselves back for a relationship.
Of course, financial stability isn't everything. The survey correctly points out that having stable partnerships can improve our health and our performance at work, too. Pouring all of our energy into work just for the financial security, while it may help in some ways, isn't necessarily a guarantee of health and overall stability. Ultimately, we're going to have to find more balanced ways of living to really thrive, and the question of how to do that under crippling debt remains.