There are so many opinions about millennials and how they are either shaping or destroying our economy.
Recent news headlines suggest millennials are being too thrifty, and thereby killing consumerism. Others say millennials are ruining their chances of buying a home and incur more debt by overspending on luxuries, lattes and avocado toast.
While overgeneralizing a select group is rarely accurate, in order to understand millennial spending habits and risks, we have to examine the actual age range and economic climate surrounding the individuals called “millennials.”
If you just want the basics, the millennial age range is roughly 19-39 today. Yes, these aren’t kids – they are adults with the older almost turning 40. Millennials were born between 1982 and 2002.
Note, this is starting to change a bit on the low end – with many people calling those born after 2000 Gen Z.
Let’s talk about the millennial age range a little more and why there are flocking to services like:
- Acorns – where they can invest with $5 and get a bonus for doing it!
- Uber – where they can share rides
- Airbnb – where they can stay in people’s homes!
Who Qualifies As a Millennial and Who Are The Millennials?
There are conflicting opinions about the actual age range of millennials. Some say that people born between the early 1980s – early 2000s are categorized as millennials, while the majority agrees that those born between the 1980s- mid 1990s are millennials.
Census bureau results provide that that the millennial generation is the generation of children born between 1982 and 2002, some 81 million children who have taken over K-12, have already entered college and the workforce. This generation will replace the Baby-boomers as they retire. Other sources suggest that the cutoff date for millennial is 2000.
We put the exact date range of millennials as those who are 19-39 today – basically today’s college students to 39 year olds. That’s a big, big range.
Although there is no consensus on the exact years the actual generations begin and end, millennials are usually born between 1982 through 2002. They were born before computers and cell phones became widespread. But it’s important to note that there are really three groups of millennials: those that graduated before the Great Recession, those that graduated during the Great Recession, and post-recession graduates. This has directly impacted the average millennial net worth.
Aside from technology and the recession of 2008, the events of September 11, 2001, also known as “9/11” was the most generation defining moment for millennials in the United States. The reasoning for the cut off date of millennials stems from the theory that individuals born after 2002 were not old enough to understand or be impacted by 9/11.
Millennials have a tendency to spend money on experiences rather than material possessions. These “experience” centered spending habits have allowed for the creation and growth of businesses such as Airbnb, which are centered around avoiding high hotel costs.
Also, millennials are willing to forego some of the basic luxuries in order to stretch their dollar for spending on experiences by using ride share services such as Uber. Aside from ensuring safety while enjoying the nightlife, rideshare services help reduce transportation costs while being mindful of deceasing the carbon footprint.
Millennials are also big side hustlers. They embrace the work from where ever, when ever mentality, and are great at using the online economy to their benefit.
Common Stereotypes About Millennial Financial Habits
There are numerous conflicting stereotypes surrounding the financial habits of millennials, as this continues to be a hot topic: