In Money, Wealth

What are the Average net worth of millennials by age?

So there are two charts – the average net worth of a millennial, and then the high achiever net worth of a millennial.

A millennial is someone born between 1982 and 2000.

Average Net Worth of a Millennial by Age

Source: The College Investor

  • 38 (Class of 2003): $33,173
  • 37 (Class of 2004): $25,152
  • 36 (Class of 2005): $20,612
  • 35 (Class of 2006): $16,132
  • 34 (Class of 2007): $11,494
  • 33 (Class of 2008): $6,690
  • 32 (Class of 2009): $4,159
  • 31 (Class of 2010): $2,093
  • 30 (Class of 2011): -$1,989
  • 29 (Class of 2012): -$6,043
  • 28 (Class of 2013): -$10,168
  • 27 (Class of 2014): -$14,447
  • 26 (Class of 2015): -$18,988
  • 25 (Class of 2016): -$23,704
  • 24 (Class of 2017): -$28,706
  • 23 (Class of 2018): -$33,984
  • 22 (Class of 2019): -$38,915

Another interesting article I came across was Millennials also have an average net worth of $8000 that is significantly lower than previous generations dropping 34% since 1996. Of course if you look at the ages of 38 to 22, a “millennial” sort of spans across such a wide range that it is hard to pinpoint who has what, seeing as you have the older ones like myself, contrasting with the younger ones.

Other interesting points to note…

Everything costs more these days

Yeah duh, Sherry!“.. no but really, hear me out. Not taking inflation into account, things just have cost more and there are new costs to consider.

Today, we’re spending 5% more of their income on education, healthcare and rent compared to a decade ago up from 12% to 17%, and discretionary spending remained at 11%.

In the past decade these expenses have all gone up:

  • Education went up 65%
  • Food went up 26%
  • Healthcare went up 21%
  • Housing went up 16%
  • Transportation went up 11%
  • New expenses have emerged = Smartphones, Data Plans, etc*

*Although I will note that I went most of my life until my mid-30s without a cellphone.


We have one phone at home, an iPhone 4S that served as our home phone shared by my partner and I – he still lives without a smartphone, texting or data plan. We did not have a data plan, and now that I have one, I cannot downgrade. I knew that going in, before I got a smartphone plan. Before my smartphone, I used an iPod touch and hunted for wifi everywhere I went, no text capability, only iMessage. True story.

You just have to be more organized, and people know that when you say that at 4 p.m. you’re going to be there, YOU ARE GOING TO BE THERE and they can’t cancel at the last minute with a text saying: Ooooo sorry! Can’t make it!!! .. because you’ll be furious. I sort of liked that, but I equally enjoy being able to update someone in real-time where I am and what is happening.

I printed maps or made extensive notes with screenshots of maps of where to go if I was going somewhere unfamiliar, and I was organized (still am).

They’re making harder life decisions

The increase especially in younger millennials choosing to not have children, get married, or buy a home because of costs, has gone up. I feel it in the water, and hear more and more people saying how they’re not going to have children because of the cost of them.

On the one hand, I applaud their decision, and the eco-friendliness of it all (let’s face it, our planet is getting overpopulated), but on the other hand I feel sad that they have to make such a tough life decision at all

Net worths aren’t as easy any longer

It is much harder to save money these days, although not impossible.

I also think it is difficult to navigate through a world where everything is so easily accessible and convenient, from Ubers for taxicabs, to Spotify for music, or Netflix, or even Amazon Prime to have packages delivered in 2 days.

All of these costs add up, but maybe it is also a time for self-reflection, to step back and wonder, truly, if these services we are spending on, are actually worth what they are delivering to us.

I don’t have any of these above services or expenses. My only real true recurring expense is my smartphone plan with 9GB of data for about $65 a month.

The rest of it? I don’t consider that they exist (frankly, half the time I didn’t even know they existed).

Ubers/Cabs in general and even Parking

Not even a factor in my life. I am always super early. I think of what time I need to be at my appointment let’s say, I factor in 15 minutes for being lost/wandering around/nonsense, and then another 30 minutes for actual travel time, and another 25 minutes to get ready to get going, and that is the time I lock in my head of when we have to get up and out.

I do this with Little Bun as well. He knows that at 8 a.m. we start getting ready, out the door by 8:30 a.m., and into playgroup for 9 a.m. factoring in traffic, weather, elevator usage, buckling him into his car seat, etc.

Ubers and cabs? OMG. Don’t even get me started.

I will take one in the most dire of situations — it is far too late at night, it is raining, I am about to miss my flight due to some extenuating circumstance.

On top of that, I will be THAT PERSON who makes you walk 8 blocks because I had to find free parking and refuse to pay for it.

I will even walk 4 metro stops instead of taking the bus for $3.25 because I FEEL IT. I feel that cost.

Even this these wedges, I’ll walk to save a few bucks. It is why my shoes are all comfortable.

Books/Spotify/Netflix/Whatever else

Is it in the library for free via Overdrive (books) or Hoopla (videos/music)? No?

Do I desperately want to watch it and am willing to pay the video-by-video cost on Amazon? No?

Then I am not watching/listening/reading it.

Done.

Only in very, VERY rare occasions will I do things like buy the last Harry Potter novel because I HAD TO KNOW HOW IT TURNED OUT and couldn’t wait to be the 1000th person on the waiting list at the library.

Or I will buy the episodes on Amazon Video to watch them (yes, I do this).

Otherwise, there are so many FREE RESOURCES out there that you don’t need to pay for (especially BOOKS!)…

Amazon Prime?

Don’t make me laugh. I can wait 2 weeks. 2 months no, but 2 weeks? 3 weeks? Fine.

I am not sure I get the whole point of Amazon Prime, but it could be also that I don’t need things urgently and I plan ahead. I wait for when I have enough for free shipping, I bundle my items together in ONE package and click BUY.

And what about high achieving net worth millennials? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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4 Comments

  1. Julia

    I’m an old Millennial. I struggle with the Amazon Prime thing. I have my first subscription that I split 50/50 with someone. I just don’t get it. The streaming content isn’t worth the cost and I have also saved my purchases to meet the free delivery. So I still don’t get it. The reading material included isn’t great and I’m already a heavy Overdrive user. The Whole Foods benefits don’t even seem to make up for the cost. I’d love to hear from someone who seems a real benefit from the membership.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I would too, please. I do not have Amazon Prime, I could try the free trial, but it seems very expensive for what it delivers.

      Reply
  2. Grace

    I love your articles. I am a tad older than a millennial. I think this applies to all ages. We live in a quick got to have it society. I recently killed the home wifi. I have a smart phone and live a few blocks from free public WiFi. It is about planning and finding alternatives. I have accomplished much more without WiFi. I spent a lot of mindless time on there. Now I am selective of what I do online.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh yes this “gotta have it NOW. RIGHT NOW” societal mentality is something I am not used to. I grew up without a cellphone, and didn’t have one until even a few years ago. I literally had to plan my days ahead of time, map everything out online before I left the house and organize myself down to the T. Now, with a smartphone, we have so many more options for sure (I cannot downgrade now to no phone, thanks to Instagram HAHA).. and you’re absolutely right — I have to actively try not to be on my phone these days.

      Reply

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