Thanks to Emily from Taking Change for the guest post at Free Money Finance highlighting an important survey showing that young people are in financial dire straights. The report, released by the financial advocacy group Qvisory, indicates that adults ages 18-34 are facing stagnating incomes, higher expenses, and increasing debt loads. Not surprisingly, we’re also worrying about our finances more than ever.
The results of this report, Young People: Living on the Edge, does not surprise me one bit. After all, I have a college education, a steady job, and a second income, and it will still be along time before I am out of debt, able to buy real estate, ready to get married, willing to go back to school, or do any number of things that my parents—when they were my age—had done five years ago.
These struggles are congruent with a 2007 NPR story explaining how today’s thirtysomethings are earning less (in inflation-adjusted dollars) than their fathers did. And the problems seem to be getting worse. According to Emily’s story:
In last year’s survey, 44% of young adults said finances were their greatest concern. In this year’s survey, 55% of young people said finances and the current economic conditions were their greatest worries — “they do not believe they have enough money to keep pace with the cost of living,” the report says.
The report also found that more than a third (37%) of respondents indicated they were carrying more debt than a year ago. Other findings included:
- 65% of respondents know somebody who is in a financial crisis or unable to pay bills
- 19% have had their phone, cable, or utilities cut off because they could not pay the bill
- 66% of respondents have credit cards
- More than 50% have credit card debt
- 57% of respondents only make minimum credit card payments
- 36% have paid a late fee on a credit card
- 62% of respondents with credit card debt have three or more kinds of debt
- Excluding student loans, 44% of young people are more than $5,000 in debt
- 22% are more than $10,000 in debt