Millennial Spending Statistics

Millennials have been researched for their thoughts, likes, dislikes, diversity, shopping habits, and debt levels, but how much understanding do we have about what drives the behaviour of Millennials shopping habits?

It’s easy to tear apart the claims of the “avocado toast myth”, but we shouldn’t just assume our assumptions are correct. Are Millennials wasting their money on chai lattes, or are they planning and saving for their future?

Let’s take a look at some interesting facts surrounding the spending habits of this unique generation!

Who Are Millennials?

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  • The Millennial generation was born between 1981-1996.
  • On average, Millennials are educated to a higher level than previous generations.
  • Millennials grew up in an increasingly interdependent, tech-heavy society.
  • Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce and will also be the largest living adult generation.
  • The average UK millennial spends £3,312.72 every year on treats, takeaways, eating out, coffee, buying clothing, and social events.

How Much Do Millennials Spend On Food?

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According to YPulse, food is high on the list of priorities for Millennials. A study by Rabobank suggests Millennials spend more on food than any other generation, especially with a growing appetite for natural, organic, premium-priced foods.

  • 13% of their income is spent in restaurants and bars (source: Foodspark).
  • When buying food, 55% of Millennials say convenience is the biggest factor compared to baby boomers who say taste matters more. (source: asfcommercial)
  • Each month the average millennial eats at a restaurant four times but has street food, orders deliveries and has food to go 11 times. (source: asfcommercial)
  • According to research by Zizzi, 18-35-year-olds spend five days a year browsing food images on Instagram, and 30% avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence is weak.
  • 26% of Millennials shop for groceries online. (Source: Valassis)

Millennials are spending on average £3,312.72 each year on takeaways, eating out, coffee, and clothes, according to This is Money.

How Much Do Millennials Spend On Travel?

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Millennials want to travel more, and their endless curiosity has them exploring both home and abroad with a passion. Travel provides a unique set of benefits that shape the way Millennials view the world and identify with others around them.

An Airbnb study found that many Millennials prioritise saving for their next trip over paying off debts or saving to purchase their first home.

  • According to 2021 Millennial financial statistics by Tripplo, 200 million tourists globally are Millennials.
  • The total spending of Millennials on travel accounts is $200 (£145.76) billion annually compared to $156 (£113.70) billion for Baby Boomers.
  • 33% plan a spending budget of $5000+ (£3644.12) on their vacations.
  • 72% of Millennials would rather spend on travel experiences rather than physical possessions.
  • The volume of trips will increase by 55% of Millennials next year.
  • Millennials, on average, spend $1,373 (£1000.68) on summer trips, excluding flight costs.
  • 46% of Millennials spend on business flights, compared to 34% of Gen Xers and 16% of Baby Boomers.
  • Millennials are the most likely age group to take debt for travel.

Millennials love to travel, but what are their motivations for it? (source – Luggage Hero)

  • 86% will travel to experience a new culture
  • 55% like to engage with the locals
  • 46% would like to experience the “daily life” of the destination
  • 44% choose to party
  • 28% travel to shop
  • 78% want their trip to be educational and take knowledge out of the experience

Also, 87% of Millennials use Facebook for travel inspiration, making it the most influential social media platform for travellers.

“This year’s TripBarometer certainly shows us how the travel landscape is evolving, from how travel inspiration is informing destination and accommodation choices, to how different generations spend when they are on trips.”

– Janice Lee Fang, Communications Director of TripAdvisor in Asia Pacific

How Does This Compare To Other Generations? Do They Spend More/Less?

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Millennials have been questioned over how they live their lives compared to past generations such as, eating, buying clothes to wear, and going out and having fun.

50% of Millennials in the U.K. typically spend more than £50 per visit online compared to 47% of Generation X and 33% of Baby Boomers.

87% of Millennials say they sometimes or always add items to their basket they had not intended to buy in-store. This compares to 86% of Generation X and 78% of Baby Boomer respondents.

Do Millennials Spend More Online Or In Person?

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Known as the ‘tech-savvy’ generation, Millennials are more comfortable shopping online than other generations. With the benefit of time and experience, convenience and price will always win when it comes to the average millennial online shopper.

80% of Millennials say that finding the best deals will impact their online purchasing decisions. A report about millennial money habits by CouponFollow proves 69% of this generation search for coupon codes and spend at least three minutes searching for these codes.

According to Marketplace Fairness:

  • 54% of Millennials shop online.
  • 26% of Millennials will shop for groceries on the internet.
  • 42% use their smartphones to make online purchases.
  • 47% of Millennials carry out their shopping on Amazon at least once a week.
  • 23% prefer buying online and picking up in-store.
  • 9% of Millennials claim to only shop in-store.
  • 67% are concerned about the security of their financial information.
  • 44% of Millennials prefer shopping online because of the product options and fast delivery.
  • 40% prefer it because they don’t have to leave the house.
  • 36% like to read customer reviews.

What Influences Millennial Shopping Decisions?

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According to Salesfloor:

68% of Millennials admit to being strongly influenced by social media posts.
84% say user-generated content has some influence on what they buy.
82% of Millennials say word-of-mouth is a key influencer.

Millennial women learn about new products through:

  • 20% influencer’s posts on social media
  • 19% advertisements on social media
  • 15% of friends and family’s post on social media
  • 15% word of mouth
  • (14%) TV

Millennial men say they learn about new products through 23% of TV, 17% of friends and family’s social media posts and 17% word of mouth.

Millennials Brand Perception

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Millennials are specific when it comes to what they want from brands. Where Millennials shop and when they shop, they are making decisions that reflect their self-perception.

They want to feel good about the purchase they make. People tend to gravitate towards and identify with products and services that reflect their own opinions and values.

Millennials place more value on the experience they have with a brand along with good value for money. According to Lexington Law, 60% of Millennials stay loyal to brands they purchase from, and 52% prefer to shop at retailers that align with their values. (Source: Euclid)

Millennials say that a brand’s dedication to charitable activities is a major influence on their purchasing decisions.

Do Millennials Prefer To Shop With Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Or Do They Use Buy Now, Pay Later?

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Research has shown that Millennials are more cost-conscious when it comes to spending, and they prefer using debit cards over credit cards, with 49% owning a credit card and 93% choosing not to use one.

Young people in the UK have become “credit-averse”, according to a spending habits study conducted by YouGov. Instead, they have a strong preference for innovations that provide them with more convenience.

This is where the Buy Now, Pay Later payment method comes in and was the fastest growing form of credit during the pandemic, labelled as “the future of millennial finance”.

The number of Millennials using the scheme has risen sharply, especially among those on low incomes, as they can now postpone the payment of their goods; without interest. However, critics warn that this payment method is encouraging unhealthy behaviour and an over-reliance on debt.

A report conducted by revealed that Gen Z, Millennials makes up 54% of Buy Now, Pay Later Users and over 52% of Buy Now Pay Later users were using this payment method more during the COVID-19 period.

“Millennials and gen Z have definitely shown an aversion to credit and a willingness to adopt alternative payment methods, particularly BNPL. Younger generations look at this payment method like a budgeting tool, and many see credit cards as an easy way to get into debt.”

– Elizabeth Barry, Finder’s global fintech editor

How Are Millennials Managing Their Money?

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Almost two-thirds of Millennials “often worry or get stressed” about their financial situations, and as a result of the pandemic, they’ve had to reassess and change their financial goals.

Revolut revealed, 7 out of 10 Millennials are consistently putting money aside, with almost £174 a month saved on average, proving UK Millennials are “far savvier” about finances than they are recognised for.

Across the UK, Revolut’s London customers save an average of £254.95 a month, compared to £162.65 in Edinburgh, £161.26 in Manchester, and £121.53 in Glasgow.

YouGov research reveals that 42% of Millennials say debt repayments are one of their most significant outgoings, with one in five 25-to-34-year-olds spending over 60% of their income on the day their wages enter their account.

In June 2019, 27% of older Millennials were uncomfortable with their current level of debt, and in just 12 months, this level increased to 35%.

“The pandemic looks set to trigger a sea-change moment in Older Millennials’ attitudes towards debt. Many will look to reduce the amount they owe and are likely to adopt a more cautious approach to borrowing and consumer spending even after the crisis has passed.”

-Thomas Slide, Senior Research Analyst

COVID-19 Pandemic on Millennial Financial Habits

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Millennials are adjusting how they spend their money due to factors, including the economy, social changes, and heightened environmental awareness.

A survey of over 2,000 adults run by Barclays revealed the average amount saved by Millennials since lockdown began on 23 March sits at £604, 11% more than the national average of £545.87.

Spending statistics run by MarketPlace Fairness shows:

  • 30% of Millennials have spent more money online since the pandemic began.
  • In May of 2020, 47% of Millennials stated that they bought from Amazon once a week.
  • 52% of Millennials now prefer to buy their groceries on the internet instead of in-stores.
  • In an initial couple of months of the pandemic, Millennials spent 60% less.
  • When it comes to buying habits during the pandemic versus pre-pandemic, Millennials spent around 40% more on groceries, 13% more on alcohol, 8% more on restaurants, and 3% more on health and beauty products.

In the aftermath of COVID-19, 10% of consumers increased their spending on packaged food and beverages, 12% on household products, and 6% on health and personal care products.

Are Millennials Saving For Retirement?

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Millennials find saving money for retirement challenging due to the expenses they have to pay between paying bills, rent and student loan debt; it can be difficult to feel confident about personal financial futures.

According to the National Institute of Retirement Security, 66% of working Millennials have no savings for retirement; and a survey run by Pensionbee states 43% have been forced to delay their retirement due to the pandemic.

  • According to The Sun, Gen Z and Millennials expect to retire at 59 with an annual income of nearly £26,000.
  • 21% are actively saving for their retirement.
  • 52% have set financial goals to keep them focused on saving for the future; however, just 22% are on track to meet their target.
  • 12% have chosen to invest in ‘higher risk’ trading options such as cryptocurrency.
  • 44% say it feels like an impossible task to save, while 36% simply don’t know where to start.

According to Investopedia, It is estimated that Millennials need to save 15-20% of their gross earnings every year to provide adequate retirement funding. Only 5% of Millennials feel they are adequately saving, 34% are enrolled on workplace pensions, and 66% have no savings at all.

Are Millennial Wages Growing?

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According to Statista, in 2021, it is predicted that earnings in the United Kingdom will increase by 3.1% compared with the previous year. Earnings are expected to increase by 3.1% in 2022 and 3.3% by 2023.

Official figures also support these positive forecasts. In April 2019, for example, wages in the United Kingdom grew by 3.8%, a two% increase compared with April 2017, when wages only grew by 1.8%.

While the recent economic news regarding wage growth is encouraging, wages are still recovering from the great recession of 2008. For all age groups, it is estimated that they are earning an average of 3.2% less than they would have in 2008, with 30-39-year old’s seeing their annual earnings declining by 7.2%.

Considering All The Facts

Millennials are an influential group of consumers who have great, unprecedented spending power. Millennials have grown up during a time of rapid technological and economic change, giving them a set of unique priorities, experiences and expectations greatly different from previous generations.

In the next decade, Millennials will play a huge role in shaping the economy. Their values will change the way we buy and sell, influencing companies to examine how they do business from this point forward.