Here’s How Much Money Gen Z vs. Millennials Have in Their Savings Accounts

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The sorry state of savings in America is a well-documented fact — and Gen Z and millennials have had the hardest time banking enough money for a rainy day. But those generations encompass everyone from teenagers fresh out of high school to middle-aged people in their early 40s.

To examine the issue on a more granular level, GOBankingRates polled 1,000 adults about their banking habits and broke down the results by age demographics grouped more closely together.

The results show that whether you call them Gen Zers or millennials, people of different ages are having much different journeys and results.

Six in 10 of the Youngest Adults Have $1,000 or Less

The first age group that the survey studied was 18- to 24-year-olds. These are the youngest adults in Generation Z — many members of Gen Z are still minors, having been born as recently as 2012.

About 61% of that age group has $1,000 or less in savings. The largest percentage by far, about 31%, has only $100 or less. Another 14% have between $100 and $500, and the remaining 16% have between $500 and $1,000.

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The Remaining 40% Are on Their Way to Healthy Savings

No matter your income, a few hundred dollars won’t last long if you lose your job — but a sizable portion of the youngest Gen Zers is in much better shape than that.

About 11% of 18- to 24-year-olds have $1,000-$2,000 in savings while even more — nearly 13% — have $2,000-$5,000. A smaller percentage, about 8%, can boast $5,000-$10,000 and another roughly 8% are sitting pretty with $10,000 or more.

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The Middle Group Has the Most Underfunded Accounts

Those in the next group are between the ages of 25 and 34. This includes the oldest Gen Zers at the front end with younger millennials making up the rest. Just like their younger counterparts between 18 and 24, about 60% of this group has just $1,000 or less — but the breakdown is more problematic.

The Demographic in Between Is Defined by Extremes

A full 35% of this age group — more than one in three — has $100 or less in savings. That’s more than both the younger Gen Zers below them and the older millennials above them. They’re also the most likely out of all three groups to have between $100-$500, which more than 16% of them do.

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Following the same trend, just 9% have between $500-$1,000, the lowest among all three sets by far and the only among all three in single digits.

With 11% breaking into the first level of four-digit savings, young millennials are more likely to have $1,000-$2,000 in the bank than the other two age groups, although only by a little. Fewer than 10% have $2,000-$5,000, which this time is less than both other sets. About 10% have between $5,000 and $10,000 — this time that puts them right in the middle — and the 8% of them who have $10,000 or more represents a lower percentage of high savers than either of the other two age groups.

The Oldest Set Has the Biggest Percentage of High Savers

Finally, there’s the group that’s in or approaching middle age — older millennials and the youngest Gen Xers between the ages of 35 and 44.

More than one in four members of this demographic have at least $5,000 tucked away. About 12% have $5,000-$10,000 banked and the other 14% are cruising with five-figure savings accounts.

A little more than one in five others have between $1,000-$5,000, split about evenly between those with $1,000-$2,000 and those with $2,000-$5,000.

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Older Millennials Hold the Smallest Slice of Underweight Accounts

Among the less accomplished savers with under $1,000, older millennials are the least likely to be at the very bottom with $100 or less — “just” 29% fit into that category. About 11% have $100-$500 — again, the lowest percentage out of all three groups — and 13% have between $500-$1,000.

How Much Is Enough? Search For the Right Percentage, Not the Right Number

As you can see, all three groups — early adult Gen Zers, young millennials and older millennials — are all most likely to have $100 or less in savings. That’s insufficient by any standard and enough to cover only the least expensive emergencies.

So, how much is enough?

“If you follow the 50/30/20 rule, at least 20% of your income should be kept in savings,” said Laura Sterling of Georgia’s Own Credit Union. “According to this rule, 50% would be allotted for necessities and 30% for non-necessities. However, not everyone will be able to save 20%. If that’s not realistic, it’s always best to save as much as possible. Your monthly income, expenses, and savings goals will ultimately determine how much you can save.”

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More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed 1,000 Americans aged 18 and older from across the country on between December 7 and 12, 2022, asking nineteen different questions: (1) What category does your current financial institution fall under?; (2) Have you considered changing Banks within the past year?; (3) If you have considered changing banks in the past year, were any of the following factors? (select all that apply):; (4) Which feature, perk, or other offering is most important to you when opening an account with a new institution?; (5) Are you currently satisfied with all your banking products and services offered by your Bank/Credit Union?; (6) Would you ever have different types of accounts across multiple banks? (i.e. Checking at Chase, but Savings at TD Bank); (7) What is your most preferred method of banking?; (8) Which of the following is the biggest factor of you staying with your current bank?; (9) Which of the following bank accounts do you currently use/have open? (Select all that apply); (10) How much is the minimum balance you keep in your Checking Account?; (11) How much do you currently have in your Savings Account?; (12) What amount of a sign up bonus would make you consider switching banks?; (13) Have you considered using any app-only banking platforms (aka neobanks) in the past year (e.g. Current, Upgrade, Chime, Dave, etc.); (14) How important is it to you for your bank to be affiliated with a crypto exchange/platform?; (15) In the past year how often have you written a physical check?; (16) When was the last time you visited your bank in-person?; (17) Why would you choose to visit your bank in-person? (Select all that apply); (18) When you think about banking, do you think of it as something you need or don’t need?; and (19) What services/products do you expect from your Bank and/or Credit Union? (Select all that apply). GOBankingRates used PureSpectrum’s survey platform to conduct the poll.

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About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the largest newspaper syndicate in the country, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as a copy editor for, a financial publication in the heart of Wall Street's investment community in New York City.
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