Millennials making even $100K are living paycheck to paycheck

• 60% of Millennials who earn $100K spend nearly all of their income without maintaining a cash buffer.

• Millennials struggle to pay bills on time, more than any other generation.

• Some research suggests that Millennials spend beyond their means.

Times are tough for Millennials — even if they have a great salary.

Sixty percent of Millennials making more than $100,000 said they’re living paycheck to paycheck, according to a new study.

Joint research by PYMNTS and LendingClub analyzed data and census-balanced surveys of more than 28,000 people to see how many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

The data, compiled between March 2020 and May 2021, found that many Americans live between pay stubs — but Millennials do so more than any other generation.

What’s holding Millennials back

Whether it’s starting a family or making their first major purchases — such as first-time homes or new cars — these life landmarks are proving to be difficult for Millennials who are still at an early point in their careers compared to older generations.

Looking at the whole generation, 70% of Millennials said they live paycheck to paycheck — compared to only 40% of baby boomers and seniors.

The data also shows how Millennials struggle with bills; 33% of them live have difficulty managing bills, a number far higher than that of Baby Boomers and seniors (10%). But this doesn’t mean Millennials are merely scraping by.

“The reality of a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle in the United States today is much more complex, and the current economic environment has made it even more complicated,” the study said.

Why are Millennials struggling?

While the study doesn’t explore the reasons why Millennials make $100,000 live paycheck to paycheck, previous research has blamed the generation’s exuberant spending habits.

While the average American spends $697 per month on non-essential spending (drinks, car service and clothing), Millennials spent the most — $838 — of any generation.

Sixteen percent of Millennials spend even more — $1,011-$2,500 each month, which is far more than Baby Boomers spend ($683), and more than double what Gen Xers dedicate to non-essentials ($588).

While excessive spending might give Millennials feel good in the interim, it’s a one-way road to credit-card debt — 32% of Millennials said their non-essential purchases contributed to debt.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the perspective of Millennials and Gen Zers in regard to money; seven in 10 from both generations said the pandemic has forced them to reassess how they handle their finances.

More than a third of Millennials said they plan to look for a new job with a different employer once the pandemic ends, according to additional research.