While it might sound counterintuitive, it turns out that young single people—as compared to individuals with dependent children—are less well off financially. According to an article depressingly titled “Young Single People Bear the Brunt of Generation Y’s Economic Woes,” which was featured as a part of a larger spread in The Guardian, 25 to 29 year-old Millennials “have become poorer over the last 20 years compared with the average population.”
These adults, keen on building their careers above all else, struggle with a high cost of living and stagnating disposable income. What’s interesting is the fact that single Millennials who choose to live alone, and are therefore relegated to shouldering the full burden of rent, the electric bill, and a Netflix subscription, also make less money compared to people their age 20 to 30 years ago. This is true in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, and Spain.
In fact, you can find out how your income compares to other generations, from other countries. (Spoiler alert: You won’t be thrilled with your results.)
You can do two things upon seeing these numbers. One: Whine and moan about how unfair this all is. Or two, continue building a career you care about. You can’t control the economy, but you can, at least to some extent, control your happiness at work. If you like your job and the direction you’re headed in, perhaps the trade-off of living alone and occasionally eating cereal for dinner isn’t such a major one after all. Sure, the generations before might’ve had more disposable income, but on the whole, they were more likely to be working solely for the weekends.
And if you don’t like your career parth now? Well, no amount of looking at the numbers is going to change your circumstances or the global economy. So, your best bet is to continue to find your way on the potentially winding career path. That might mean figuring out how to make extra money every single month (a.k.a., a side gig), or it might mean budgeting that enables you to pay for the online classes you need to make a career move. If anything, this proves that being fulfilled at work’s more important than ever.
Plus, while every industry is different, and certain job titles and positions will always command a higher salary than others, there’s no reason to believe that if you carve out goals for yourself and set your sights on success you won’t one day be in a better position financially than you are now. As we’ve pointed out before, often job hopping, or, as we like to call it, career building can mean big things when it comes to your bottom line.