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Millennials and Spending

Money Matters

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Millennials lived through the Great Recession, but now they’re developing some spendy habits, according to some new data from Bankrate. Maybe it’s a form of delayed gratification?

Bankrate found that millennials are falling victim to common financial vices, such as spending money in coffee shops, racking up bar tabs or frequently dining out. 

The average millennial dines at a restaurant or buys take-out food five times per week and 29% of millennials say they buy coffee at least three times per week.

"Often, it's the minor, habitual expenses, such as take-out and alcohol, that wreak havoc on your budget," said Sarah Berger, The Cashlorette at Bankrate.com. "Small steps, such as preparing meals at home and brewing your own coffee, can add up to big savings over the course of a year."

Overall, Americans are doing a better job with financial vices than one might think.  59% of Americans say they don't purchase any brewed coffee or tea in a typical week. 

Further, 73% say they don't buy any alcoholic drinks at bars or restaurants each week and 40% of Americans say they buy take-out or dine at a restaurant no more than once per week.

However, millennials aren't following the example set by their elders.  54% of younger millennials eat out at least three times per week, compared to just 33% of Gen Xers, 32% of Baby Boomers and 25% of the Silent Generation who do this.

In addition, 42% of all millennials and 51% between the ages of 21-26 typically go to a bar at least once a week, versus 24% of Gen Xers, 19% of Baby Boomers and 11% of the Silent Generation.

"A recent survey conducted by Bankrate.com measuring Americans' emergency savings showed that just 16% of younger millennials have saved the recommended six months' worth of expenses. Money saved from packing lunch and passing on lattes would be a smart investment in building that emergency fund," Berger added.