How Millennials Spend Their Money

Millennials include people born between 1980 and 2000. Millennials have become an influential demographic, changing the way business is conducted.

While influencing technology, social norms and mores, millennials also are affecting the economy. Forbes says that many millennials have a shaky relationship with money, due in some part to the fact that they lived through one of the worst recessions the United States has experienced in decades. Couple that with staggering student loan debt and it’s easy to see why millennials may be facing an uphill battle when it comes to their finances.

Millennials are falling particularly short in regard to saving money. According to a 2017 GOBankingRates survey, 57 percent of Americans have around $1,000 in savings. Sixty-seven percent of young millennials, between ages 18 and 24 have less than $1,000, says the survey. Canadians are saving even less, even though in the early 1980s Canadians of most ages used to save twice as much as Americans, or 20 percent of their disposable income, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Many millennials spend more than they earn and live above their means according to a report by American Express Business Insight. This, along with school debt, has compromised millennials’ ability to purchase a home or even get married.

Just how are millennials spending their money? Here’s a look at the common patterns.

Experiences: Funding experiences is a high priority for Gen Y. This includes concerts, sporting events, live performances, and other social events more so than possessions or career status, offers Forbes.

Retail goods and dining: TD Bank found that millennials make more retail purchases and dine out more than other generations, but generally spend less money overall.

Healthcare: Millennials spend about $1,000 more on healthcare expenses than the generations that preceded them, states financial resource Mother Jones. Housing and education costs also have risen, contributing to a smaller pool of savings.

Same-day delivery: A Shop.org survey indicated that millennials are twice as likely as other generations to pay extra for same-day delivery of online purchases.

Tattoos: Surveys conducted for Pew Research found that 40 percent of millennials have at least one tattoo.

Organic foods: A Gallup poll from the summer of 2016 found 53 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 actively try to include organic foods in their diets.

Millennials have grown up during a period of rapid change. Their large numbers are shaping the economy in a myriad of ways.