finance

Three millennial women share their exact salaries and how they spend it.

Money to young women is a bit like doing a set of burpees. Some people are amazingly good at it and some of us just can’t seem to get it right.

I recently took to Instagram to ask women in their twenties to describe how they felt about their money at this very moment,

To say the responses were diverse is an understatement. In one corner we’ve got the savvy savers declaring themselves “stable”, “comfortable” and “A+++ thanks to Barefoot [Investor] and being savvy AF”. But as I expected, it was pretty crowded in the other corner. Some responded with one word, others more depth, but the underlying response was the same. “I thought it would be easier to earn more money”, said one. “Utterly terrified,” said another. “Stressed,” proclaimed a third.

In fact, only about 12% of the responses were positive. The rest were a screaming reminder of how financially disconnected we young millennials are as a generation. I get it, and I’ve felt it.

I’m ashamed to say that in my early twenties, I didn’t even think I needed to save. I didn’t think anyone was saving. I was more concerned about my next ASOS order or my next girls holiday. With wages not budging and house prices rising, it’s no wonder we feel lost.

So we spoke to three women in their twenties about how they feel about their money, their income and where their financial lives are headed.

Kitch, 23

women salary
Image: Supplied.
  • @soybabie_
  • Social media specialist + photographer
  • Salary $55-75k incl. super and side income

Are you a spender or a saver?

Definitely a saver. My parents gave me pocket money every month as a kid and I'd save it so I could buy a toy every month. I've always had a 'float' amount of money in my account and feel super weird if it dips below!

Are you happy with your salary?

I'm happy with my salary! I'm 23 and only started at this job three months ago. There's lots of opportunity to grow and expand my skills.

What's your biggest money worry/problem/concern in your twenties?

Biggest concern would be the housing market. I’m not sure whether I'll be able to afford property where I want to live. Also unsure if purchasing a house is the right option given the climate and volatile nature of the housing market. I have to invest a lot of time learning about stocks and investments and wish there was more information taught throughout my schooling.

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Do you have any money regrets?

I am happy to say no money regrets yet! I had a great time in my late teens travelling and purchased a second hand car outright etc. I have no debt.

Do you have any financial goals?

Financial goal has been to increase my savings every month and I set a dollar amount for each year such as have $20,000 in savings by this year, divide it by 52 and aim to save that. Some weeks I might save less and some I might save more.

Tiahn, 25

women salary
Image: Supplied.

Are you a spender or a saver?

Generally, I’m quite good at saving. I do have an excellent ability to justify splurges quite easily, which is something I should probably work on!

Are you happy with your salary?

I think most people would say they’d like a bit more money, right? My role has changed considerably from when I first started and I don’t know that my salary entirely reflects that, but at the end of the day I’m very grateful to have a job I love and financial security.

What's your biggest money worry/problem/concern in your twenties?

Saving for a house deposit. It seems like my partner and I will be saving forever and a day before we’re finally able to buy something. I know we’ll get there, but at this stage it seems like a very far off goal!

Do you feel like you earn enough for your stage of life?

Yes and no. I earn enough to get by and also save some money, but I would like to be able to put more into my ‘future’ savings each month, without worrying about buying an extra lunch here and there or treating myself to new work clothes occasionally.

Do you have any money mistakes or regrets?

No mistakes or regrets. I may not have a house yet but I’ve been able to travel and live a well-balanced life so far and considering that, I’m happy with where I’m at.

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Bec, 29

women salary
Image: Supplied.
  • Occupation: Lawyer
  • Salary $100,000

How would you describe your attitude to money? Are you a spender or a saver?

It depends, if I have a particular goal, then I am usually quite good at putting money away but I am prone to spontaneous purchases and probably could be saving more than I do. I definitely spend too much on brunch and wine!

Are you happy with your salary?

I am quite happy and was thrilled when I received my last pay rise, but as a lawyer I work quite demanding hours and work is high pressure so the figure has somewhat lost it’s shine.

What's your biggest money worry/problem/concern in your twenties?

I worry that I’m not saving enough, and I worry about my super. As a woman, I think it’s something that we should be conscious of. I sometimes worry I won’t be in a position to buy a house (in an area I like) in the near future but I’m also not sure it’s something I want to do yet either.

What's the thing you spend most money on, aside from rent/mortgage?

Travel, I’m always saving for a holiday and try to go away once a year. I’m hoping to spend six weeks in Mexico at the end of the year.

Have you made any money mistakes you regret?

Yes! Taking out a credit card. If you don’t need one, don’t get one!

So, with fairly decent salaries coming in, we’re still not totally confident when it comes to money. Housing markets are making us squirm the most, and we’re all starting to wonder why none of this stuff was covered at school. Never mind, at least we know algebra, right?!

Emma Edwards is a financial lifestyle blogger at The Broke Generation. Gently delivering practical money advice to fellow millennials on her website and on Instagram, Emma’s a big believer in doing all the right things with your money, while still living your best life.

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