What Aren’t We Spending Money On?
When I say we, I’m talking about Millennials (despite my hesitation to throw us all in the same boat).
At TIME, Jacob Davidson goes through some of the data and makes a list of 10 things that Millennials aren’t spending money on. Are you not spending your hard-earned dollars on these things? Let’s go through them one by one.
• Pay TV
The argument is that Millennials have transitioned from paying for cable television to watching and paying for streaming services like Hulu Plus and Netflix. When I lived with roommates and had a television, we were more than willing to split the cost of cable, but now that I live by myself, I’ve determined that owning a TV and paying for cable by myself just isn’t worth it.
Surveys show that Millennials aren’t confident in the stock market as the place to save for retirement, which I’d argue is different than saying that Millennials don’t invest. If we’re not investing it’s because we don’t have enough money or have an understanding of how saving for retirement works. I have a 401(k) account (pre-tax) and a Roth IRA (post-tax), and my retirement savings are in index funds (if you are new to the site and don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s okay, feel free to ask). Also lol at this line: “Too be fair, an equal number admitted to having no clue what they were invested in, so hopefully their trust fund advisors are making good decisions.”
• Mass-Market Beer
Do you only drink craft beer? Millennials, apparently, like craft beer and don’t buy mass-market beers like Coors or Bud. I don’t buy beer often, but when I have it’s been Shiner, so I guess I’m guilty of this.
“In 2010, adults between the ages of 21 and 34 bought just 27 percent of all new vehicles sold in America, down from the peak of 38 percent in 1985.” Perhaps Millennials are smart and know cars are depreciating assets and buy nice, reliable used models? The two cars I’ve owned were bought used and now that I live in a city with good public transportation I don’t need to own one anymore.
Millennials witnessed the collapse of the housing market, and entered the job market during a downturn while wages were stagnant and banks tightened their lending practices, so it makes sense that we’re not buying homes. I have no future plans to buy a home, even if the banks think I’m throwing away money on rent.
• Bulk Warehouse Club Goods
If you don’t have cars or houses, why would you buy bulk goods at Costco? My problem is my apartment is too small to store bulk goods.
Millennials are delaying getting married until later in life. “Sixty-nine percent of millennials told Pew they would like to marry, but many are waiting until they’re more financially stable before doing so,” which, how reasonable!
See previous: “…waiting until they’re more financially stable before doing so.”
• Health insurance
“Twenty-eight percent of Obamacare’s 8 million new enrollees were 18–34 year-olds.” The Congressional Budget office was hoping 40 percent of that demographic would sign up for health insurance post-Affordable Care Act to subsidize the plans of older Americans, though the demographic is mostly 27 to 34-year-olds since the ACA made it so that those 26 and younger can stay on their parents’ plans. I had Obamacare for a very short time period until I recently got insured through work.
• Anything you tell them to buy
The argument here is that Millennials prefer buying things based on reviews by people they don’t know rather than recommendations via family and friends, which, maybe? There are so many great review sites out there like The Wirecutter, which I have used to buy many things, but this sounds like more of a personal choice to me than anything else.
Photo: Tim Lucas