Don’t believe everything that you hear about millenial consumers – especially that they don’t buy stuff. Fortune magazine recently looked at the spending habits of young adults compared with 30 years ago – when boomers were young, and there are some surprising findings.
Young people spend on par with national average – then and now
(1)In 1985, the year after “Material Girl” came out, young people’s spending represented about 101% of their average earnings—close to the national average of 103%.
(2) Young adults are still spending today, if not with Madonna-style excess. Their total average expenditures make up 91% of earnings—about on par with the national average of 92%.
And they both spend less than average on apparel
(3) In 1985, boomers spent 6% less than average on apparel.
(4) Millennials, spent 7% more than average on apparel last year.
The young boomers spent a lot more on reading materials (D’oh – no internet!)
(5) Young adults spent $129 on reading materials on average in 1985, 9% less than everyone else.
(6) Last year young adults spent $75 on reading materials on average, 27% less than everyone else.
But the same on cars
(7) The boomers in 1985 put 9% of their total spending toward cars.
(8) Millennials today put 7% of their total spending toward cars. Thanks to their sheer number, though, Gen Y now makes up a larger market than Gen X.
And for rent – again no surprises
(9) Young adults in 1985 spent 58% more than average on rent.
(10) Young adults last year spent 69% more than average on rent. Many of them (especially the well educated) prefer cities—though experts see pent-up demand for single-family homes.