20% of Young Millennials Are Neglecting Their Savings, Data Shows

Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

We all need savings on hand for emergencies, as well as retirement. Yet 20% of millennials aged 22 to 28 aren't setting any money aside for savings at all, according to a new survey by TD Ameritrade.

On the one hand, that's an improvement over the 30% of Gen Zers aged 15 to 21 who aren't saving. But to be fair, the lower half of that sample set are in high school and probably don't earn income -- and therefore aren't in a position to be saving. Even Gen Zers aged 18 to 21 often fall into the full-time student category and, as such, don't earn much, if any, money.

Millennials aged 22 to 28, on the other hand, are full-fledged adults who have conceivably finished their studies and have a steady paycheck coming in (or at least a paycheck). As such, the fact that 20% of them aren't saving money is problematic. If you're part of that category, it's imperative that you take steps to ramp up on the savings front -- even if that means making some sacrifices along the way.

Group of young adults smiling

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Making the effort

It's easy to see why so many 20-somethings might struggle to save. A large chunk of young adults are stuck earning limited wages, all the while contending with the ever-climbing cost of living. Throw in the fact that many adults aged 20 to 28 are saddled with student debt, and it's no wonder their savings aren't taking off.

Still, saving no money at all is a dangerous habit to uphold. For one thing, a lack of emergency savings could result in some serious debt when unexpected bills arise. Furthermore, by delaying their retirement savings, millennials lose out on major growth opportunities that could cause them to come up short during their golden years.

If you aren't saving any money at present, it's time to rethink the way you manage your finances. A good place to start is by getting on a budget.

Most young millennials either don't have a budget or do have one but don't or can't stick to it. The thing about your budget is that it needs to be realistic, as opposed to a string of thrown-together numbers. Therefore, if you guessed at your monthly expenses the last time you put a budget together, redo those figures by combing through your bank and credit card statements to see what your actual spending looks like. From there, you'll be able to more easily identify ways to cut corners in order to free up some cash for savings.

At the same time, you may want to get a side hustle if your current earnings don't allow you to make headway on the savings front. You don't need to resign yourself to working every single evening or weekend -- just work enough so that you're able to take home some money to put in the bank (though the more you want to work, the better it'll be for your finances).

While it's encouraging to see that the bulk of young millennials are saving money in some capacity, the fact that 20% are saving nothing is troubling. If you're not saving at all, pledge to start setting aside some amount of money each month, even if it's just $10, and work your way up from there. You'll be thankful for it later on.

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