These millennials are living paycheck to paycheck — while earning six figures: report

These millennials are living paycheck to paycheck — while earning six figures: report
A bearded hipster in 2017, Wikimedia Commons

The Millennial generation has faced more than its share of economic challenges, from the Great Recession to exorbitant housing costs to massive student loan debt. Much of the reporting on Millennials who are living paycheck to paycheck has focused on those who are poor or lower middle class, but journalist Hillary Hoffower, in an article published by Business Insider on September 16, takes a look at a different phenomenon: Millennials who are making six figures yet still living paycheck to paycheck.

Hoffower reports that according to a recent survey by PYMNTS and LendingClub, 60% of Millennials who are making more than $100,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck.

"That's partly because of lifestyle choices," Hoffower explains. "Many of these Millennials are likely HENRYs, short for high earner, not rich yet. The acronym was invented in 2003, but it has come to characterize a certain group of 30-something six-figure earners who struggle to balance their spending and savings habits."

Of course, many people reading Hoffower's article will have a hard time feeling sorry for those living-paycheck-to-paycheck HENRYs, many of whom are no doubt living a bourgeois lifestyle and spending a lot of money on non-essentials such as eating out in overpriced restaurants night after night. They aren't known for their frugality.

According to Priya Malani, founder of Stash Wealth, HENRYs often work in high-paying industries that include finance, tech, law and medicine. Stash Wealth, which helps clients with financial planning decisions, has described itself as the "home of the HENRYs."

Hoffower notes, "HENRYs typically fall victim to lifestyle creep, when one increases one's standard of living to match a rise in discretionary income. They prefer a comfortable and often expensive lifestyle that leaves them living paycheck to paycheck."


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