LEHI, Utah — Graduation season is here and college graduates all over the United States will be looking for work. It turns out they’re going to need to — since most of them have no money in their pockets! A new poll finds one in five college students have less than $100 in the bank right now.
The survey of 1,000 U.S. college students and recent graduates of all ages, commissioned by Neighbor.com and conducted by Pollfish, found that six in 10 (61%) have less than $1,000 saved up currently.
Moreover, nearly half the poll (47%) either don’t have a savings account or have one with no money in it. Interestingly, younger college students in the survey were more likely to have more money in the bank than their older classmates. In fact, the majority of respondents with less than 100 bucks in their account were over the age of 25.
The gig economy is in full gear
As for how these financially challenged grads are finding ways to make money, gig work is becoming the most common method. Nearly seven in 10 (69%) people who have graduated within the last five years are now doing some sort of gig work. More than three in 10 (31%) say their main source of income comes from gig work. Another 34 percent pick up gigs to make extra cash.
Unsurprisingly, many are in need of a few extra bucks, since 64 percent say they don’t earn enough money to both pay their bills and have cash left over for discretionary spending. Nearly half the poll (46%) say three-quarters of their paycheck goes to paying the bills.
What are college grads doing with the rest of their earnings? One thing’s for sure — they’re not saving it! Researchers found that only one in three respondents save the recommended 30 percent of their income. Meanwhile, the most popular things grads splurge on are new clothes (52%), their hobbies (48%), weekend fun (46%), and trips (44%).
The job market is still in bad shape
No matter what they got their degree in, many college grads are setting lofty goals for their future earnings. In fact, one in four say they expect to be earning more than $100,000 within the first five years of their career. Nearly six in 10 college students expect to earn at least $60,000 right after graduation. That’s slightly more than the national average of $55,260.
Unfortunately, the current job market may not be everything graduates are hoping it is. The survey finds just 18 percent were able to find a full-time job before graduation. Additionally, just 27 percent say they found full-time work in their field of study. One in four (23%) haven’t been able to find any full-time work over the last five years.
Hey mom, can you raise my allowance?
If you think allowances are just for kids, think again! The poll finds 49 percent of college students and grads still get a regular allowance from their parents! One in four have asked their parents for extra cash and received it, while eight percent say their parents actually turned them down.
Moreover, nearly half the poll don’t pay for their own housing. Specifically, 18 percent moved back home after graduating college, 13 percent share a home with a friend who pays the rent, and 15 percent actually live alone but someone else takes care of the bills for them!