7 Things 20-Somethings Won’t Spend Money On
The millennial generation is often accused of being narcissistic, entitled, and financially illiterate. I’m here to tell you this is not the case. Actually, it’s quite the contrary. We’ve come of age during the recession, and we’re terrified of not having an emergency fund to fall back on when times get tough. As Reddit user put it: “I think the ‘Great Recession’ that many of us graduated into has created another version of our grandparents who grew up during the Great Depression. Your grandmother [who] gardened, insisted on saving every scrap of food, and obsessed about a 10-cent difference in prices on store shelves? Your hipster friend will be that person in 50 years.” Our buying habits are different from those of our parents; we may have more in common with our grandparents than anyone ever expected! Read on to see what 20-somethings absolutely won’t spend money on (and the logic behind it).
Many of us don’t own a TV, and even fewer of us actually pay for cable. Why would you, when you can stream Netflix to your heart’s content on your laptop for $7.99 a month? Television has also become more of a background soundscape. It's rare that we watch without two screens—one for watching the program and another (usually our phone) for perusing the Internet, our apps, and social media.
As millennials, we’re known for our particular taste for indie brews. The mass-market beer brands our parents reach for—like Bud, Coors, and Miller—don’t appeal to us. We want something of the microbrewery variety. According to a consumer report, 27% of mass-market light beer consumers are getting tired of taste. Pete Coors discusses declining beer sales with The Denver Post: “Basically, the biggest trouble we have is on-premise sales. We have a lot of bar owners who are enamored with craft beers. They are beginning to take off the premium light handles and are putting bottles behind the bar instead and replacing the handles with craft beer handles. We lose 50% of our volume when this happens.”
Buying a home is an overwhelming decision that requires an enormous financial commitment and often involves numerous unforeseen costs. It’s not that millennials don’t want to own homes, it’s that the financial recession put most of us years behind, in terms of savings. According to a recent Fannie Mae survey, nine out of 10 millennials say they want to eventually own a home. “But this generation’s path to home ownership is fraught with obstacles: low pay, low savings, tighter lending standards from banks, and student debt.” Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies published a report stating that between 2006 and 2011, the homeownership rate among young adults fell by 12%.
Economic uncertainty has caused Generation Y to delay relationship commitments as well as financial commitments. Each generation, the average marrying age has been pushed back, but it seems as though millenials are waiting longer than ever to tie the knot (and they certainly aren’t shelling out thousands to put on a grand fête, at least not in their early 20s). According to a recent poll, most Americans still want to get married, but the importance of marriage has dropped. According to recent U.S. census records, the current median ages at which men and women get married are 29.1 and 27.1, respectively. Comparatively, in the 1950s, the median ages were 23 and 20. Experts theorize that this delay is in large part due to the fact that gender dynamics have changed, casual dating has become more encouraged (due to technology), and more women are going to college and pursuing demanding careers.
It’s a well-documented trend that women are having children later and later in life. According to Time, the number of women having children after the age of 35 is on the rise. Dr. Rebecca Starck, chair of the department of regional obstetrics and gynecology at Cleveland Clinic, tells Time: “A healthy 40-year-old can have a much less risky pregnancy than a healthy 28-year-old, especially if she prepares her body for pregnancy with healthy food and exercise.” Without feeling pressure to have a child by their early 30s, women are “leaning in” and prioritizing their careers instead of building families—at least in their 20s and 30s.
According to Consumerist, “nearly 70% of consumers rely on online reviews before making a purchase.” According to a joint study by Forbes and Elite Daily, only 1% of millennials said they are driven to buy something because of traditional advertising. In fact, 33% of millenials rely on blog reviews before making a purchase. Our generation views authenticity as the most important aspect of a brand, and what better way to ensure authenticity than by trusting a third-party source that has used products from the brand in question (and has no motivation to lie about their functionality)?
Opening image: Avenue