In Defense of Millennials’ Spending Habits

Author Post: Millennial Spending Habits and Why They Buy

Millennials often take heat for the seemingly irrational way they spend their money. Millennials spend more than $4 dollars on coffee alone. They spend $1,285 annually for giving dogs training and other needs of their pets. It sounds outrageous, but there are different reasons why this generation has far different priorities than older generations.

Millennials encourage social change

As a generation faced with unlimited information, these individuals are more aware of key social issues. In a survey by Pew Research Center, younger generations lead the charts when it comes to issues about race, gender equality, and climate change.

As a result, 75% of millennials would love to patronize brands that allocate proceeds to important social causes. This way, millennials feel that they are contributing to the bigger picture, even as consumers.

Another way that they want to contribute to their community is by supporting small businesses. A New York Post article laid out the numbers for small businesses and the millennial demographic:

  • 61% would shop more from small businesses in 2019;
  • 45% would rather spend more as long as it is supporting a small business.

They believe it is convenient, offers unique products and great customer service, and they want to help out families of the owners. In a way, this is how they show support for their community.

Millennials love comfort and convenience

One of the words that often describe millennials’ spending habits is “lavish”. This is because they spend money to cater to their interests and used as a form of unwinding or self-care. As a result, they are willing to open their purse to make their lives more convenient and comfortable.

According to a 2017 report, 79% of millennials spend their money on food, and 73% pay to see live events. 69% shop for clothes that they don’t necessarily need. 53% also open their purse for ‘taxis and Ubers’.

Millennials are known as the “wellness generation,” putting mental health at the forefront of their priorities. Part of this collective advocacy is taking a break when necessary.

For some, taking a break means spending time with friends, dining out or drinking coffee. Others love spoiling themselves for once, and this can include expensive clothes, spa days, facials, etc.

This generation knows the dangers and the counterproductive effects of overworking. To prevent that, it could entail spending a little more money.

Millennials understand the struggle of being underpaid

“‘Millennials waste their money’ bro I just tipped the waiter that you underpay,” said a tweet that garnered more than half a million likes. Let’s face it: wages did not much increase throughout the years, and this is a collective experience for Millennials.

As CNBC cites in an article, “average millennial’s wealth in 2016 (ages 23 to 38) was 41% less than those who were at a similar age in 1989.” This is despite the bigger number of millennials with Bachelor’s degrees, in comparison to Boomers.

The struggles with low wages and lesser opportunities are still remnants of The Great Recession. Aside from this, the increasing number of Bachelor’s degrees come at the disadvantage of crippling student loan and credit card debts.

At the end of the day, millennials come from a place of responsibility and community. They should, at least, get a pass for wanting their morning coffee. It’s been a tough 23 years or so.

Meta Title: Rationalizing Millennials’ Spending Habits

Meta Description: Millennials often take heat for the seemingly irrational way they spend their money. They come from a place of responsibility and community. They should, at least, get a pass for wanting their morning coffee.



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Reed Hamilton

Mason Reed Hamilton: Mason, a political analyst, provides insights on U.S. politics, election coverage, and policy analysis.