Millennials Share Their Salary With Coworkers More Than Any Other Generation, Survey Finds

bankrate salary study 2018

Unsplash/Brooke Cagle

It used to be taboo to tell anyone your salary. However, a recent survey from found that millennials are spilling this secret more than any other previous generation.

According to the survey, 33 percent of millennials have told a coworker what their salary is, while just 18 percent of baby boomers said they’ve done the same. Additionally, 48 percent of millennials have told a romantic partner they don’t live with, 58 percent have told friends and 64 percent have told a family member (other than their SO). The survey found that baby boomers feel most comfortable (43 percent) telling their salary to a family member who is someone other than their spouse.


Across all generations, only 24 percent of adults said they have told a coworker what they make. Between genders, men are actually more likely to do so (29 percent) than women (20 percent). But when it comes to having that conversation with a coworker, it can really help put things in perspective, especially when you’re asking for a raise or a promotion.

“I told a coworker my salary once because we were all about to get raises and as the most junior member of my team, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t getting short-changed,” Chelsea*, 22, of Washington D.C. told Swirled. “Recently, I told my salary to another coworker who is getting a raise who is more junior than me to help her ask for what she wants.”

Sharing salary secrets with your SO can also help you move forward in life. Disclosing what you make at work with a future husband or wife could help you understand how strong your relationship is financially.

“Not telling your friends how much you make is one thing, but failing to share that information with a significant other could be a bad idea,” Bankrate Analyst Amanda Dixon said in a press release. “When you’re setting short-term or long-term financial goals, it’s impossible to be on the same page if you’re not open and honest about how much money is coming in.”

couple sharing salary

Unsplash/Tim Mossholder

And Chelsea also agrees. Sharing her salary has helped her with her personal finances.

“I’ve told my parents because they’ve been helping me with my loans and knowing how much I can contribute is part of that,” she said. “My boyfriend lives with me and so he also knows. It helps us budget things together.”

Sharing your salary with others is completely up to you, but it can also give you confidence that you’re making what you deserve at work. Be sure to always do your research on what the going salary for your role is in your industry. Websites like Glassdoor, PayScale and FairyGodBoss can all help you know what you should negotiate for when getting a raise or promotion. And telling your family, friends or SO might just help you make smarter money moves, which could make you more financially fit in the future.

Where do you stand on sharing your salary? Let us know if our LinkedIn Group!

*Chelsea asked that we not disclose her last name in order to protect her privacy.


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