70% of millennials live paycheck to paycheck


We’re getting used to upheaval and disruption at this point, but the revelations about the extent of paycheck-to-paycheck life in the United States are impossible to ignore, and the people most affected by this issue are the millennials and bridge millennials who are often high earners. .

For New Reality Check: The Paycheck-To-Paycheck Report – Generational Divide Edition, a PYMNTS and LendingClub collaboration, part of a series exploring this issue, we surveyed 3,070 US consumers and analyzed additional economic data, finding trends alarming.

Of those who manage between verifications, we found that the highest number of consumers meeting this definition were millennials and older millennials.

However, they are not the only ones to extend their salaries to face higher costs in 2022.

“An in-depth analysis of the generational demographics of consumers currently living paycheck to paycheck indicates that millennials are the most likely to fall into this category, but the largest increase in consumers living paycheck to ‘paycheck to paycheck is about baby boomers and seniors’, with 54% of baby boomers and seniors living paycheck to paycheck according to Generational Divide data, according to the study.

Income is a key determinant of who falls into the paycheck category, although high income is not necessarily a protection against this type of business model. For example, we found that 42% of all consumers earning over $100,000 report living between checks.

Savings save the day

Having a savings cushion is one way for consumers of all demographics to keep the wolves at bay. And there’s kind of a silver lining here for millennials, who on average save more than other demographics.

“Gen Z consumers who live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to pay their monthly bills report the lowest average savings at just $1,158,” according to the report. “Millennials who live paycheck to paycheck with problems paying their monthly bills report the highest savings, with an average of $3,731. Savings amounts decline and then level off as consumers age.

This “aging” group includes Millennials in Bridge, as well as Gen Xers, baby boomers and seniors who live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to pay their bills. These cohorts report having $2,765, $1,236, and $1,277 in savings, respectively.

Demonstrating the power of compound annual interest, among other financial factors, our research found that savings balances for those who don’t live from paycheck to paycheck grow from generation to generation. Baby boomers and seniors have the highest average savings among those who live paycheck to paycheck and have no trouble paying their bills ($7,961) — and among those who don’t. live no paycheck to paycheck ($22,866).

The $400 emergency measure

A measure that has emerged in recent years as useful in determining financial health is a person’s ability to have savings or credit to cover an emergency expense of $400. This number can cover a multitude of scenarios ranging from a car repair to an unexpected visit to the dentist.

In New Reality Check: The Paycheck-To-Paycheck Report – Generational Divide Edition, we found that 59% of Gen Z consumers living paycheck to paycheck to paycheck and struggling with bills are the least likely not being able to pay an emergency expense of $400.

This is followed by 51% of Gen X consumers who live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to pay their bills, while 46% of Millennials and 44% of Millennials say the same .

Get the study: New Reality Check: The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report, Generational Divide Edition



On: Shoppers who have store cards use them for 87% of all eligible purchases – but that doesn’t mean retailers should start buy now, pay later (BNPL) options at checkout. The Truth About BNPL and Store Cards, a collaboration between PYMNTS and PayPal, surveys 2,161 consumers to find out why providing both BNPL and Store Cards is key to helping merchants maximize conversion.


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