I remember one thing very clearly about the times I applied for an apartment with my friends, and eventually with my boyfriend—we always submitted our tax returns and bank statements individually to our broker to avoid addressing a sensitive issue: how much was in our bank accounts. Talking about how much savings one has is probably on par with comparing salaries in terms of social faux pas. That said, it might be motivating, if a bit embarrassing, when your peers have a bigger salary or savings account than you do.
But perhaps for Millennials, as compared to previous generations, this conversation is easy, because the common answer to that question is: zilch. Commiserating about how to work and live in an expensive city while traveling and trying to save money is practically a Millennial pastime.
Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that adults under 35 have a savings rate of -2 percent, according to Moody's Analytics. The report said that in 2009, the savings rate of those under 35 was 5.2 percent.
That Americans don't save enough is certainly true: the U.S. personal savings rate has been plummeting since the early 1980s. For Millennials, their debt makes it even harder to save. A Wells Fargo survey of Millennials reported that 47 percent spend at least half their paychecks relieving various kinds of debt (credit card, mortgage, student loan, etc.). With student loan debt in the U.S. hitting the $1 trillion mark, Pew reports that 37 percent of U.S. households have student debt, with the median debt standing at $13,000.