Do you fall within the average millennial income?
If you’re a millennial, you already know that there’s a lot of talk about your generation – much of it negative. Millennials are accused of being entitled in spite of having debt, job-hopping in spite of the growing lack of full-time jobs, and killing industries from diamonds to fabric softener.
However, millennials are better than the media makes them sound. Sure, they have financial shortcomings, but these can easily be explained by factors outside of their control.
Wondering how you compare to the average millennial, and how millennials compare to other generations? Let’s take a look.
What Makes Millennials Special?
Millennials outpace Baby Boomers as the largest generation alive today. In 2016, the worldwide millennial population was measured at 79.8 million. For the most part, this generation refers to people between 18 and 35 years old today.
One of the things that makes this generation unique is the many technological changes that have happened in their lifetimes. Widespread internet access, smartphones, and social media all changed the world while millennials were young.
The Average Millennial Income
In South Africa, as around the world, age affects how much you make. South African young professionals make about R151,820 in the year they start working. When they have one to four years experience, that number grows to R208,000. However, people with 10 to 19 years of experience make much more: R510,000 per year.
To an extent, salaries can be expected to grow with experience. However, millennials have high financial burdens that mean their money may not go as far. They tend to enter the workforce with high debt from student loans. They might have taken out credit cards and loans to pay bills, compounding their debt even further.
Since a limited number of older South Africans have successfully saved for retirement, these younger generations might also be responsible for taking care of the household. This puts millennials in a position to not be able to save for their own retirement, so things may get even harder for the generations that come after.
A high unemployment rate for young people adds one more issue. One out of four adults in South Africa is unemployed. However, for people under 25, the number of unemployed is much higher.
How to Improve Your Millennial Finances
These numbers might sound dire, but you don’t have to resign yourself to financial struggle just because you make less than the average millennial income. There are many ways to take control of your finances even when the job market is working against you.
One of your goals should be to pay off as much debt as you can, as fast as you can. If you’re still in college, try to start paying off your student loans before you graduate, and take out as few loans as possible.
Avoid opening more credit cards and taking on more consumer debt than necessary, too.
Don’t forget to make a budget that you can stick to, so you’ll be living within your means. Of course, sometimes you might come up short on your bills, but there are ways to fix that. Need a payday loan to get by? Check out our application here.