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How young people spend money

June 11, 2015

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As we’ve written extensively in the past, Millennials have a firm hold on the attention of businesses and marketers clamoring for the incredible amount of money the generation spends every year.

But even with so many people dissecting their every move, Millennials still find ways to surprise.

Forbes provided a good example last week. Clare O’Connor had a nice write-up on some recently released data that shows the generation that lives on the internet has developed some “fairly analogue” buying habits. (Or in other words, old school.)

Looking at data on recent Millennial grads from the analytics company Neustar, there are some interesting trends in regards to how young people are spending money right now.

Some aren’t exactly surprising, as O’Connor points out, like that 16 percent of the Millennial grads visited the Tex-Mex restaurant Chipotle one to five times in the last 30 days. It’s also not much of a surprise that 34 percent were “very interested” in the NFL last year.

But others really stick out.

In regards to their reading habits, 39 percent bought a hardcover book in the past year. That’s certainly good news for those looking to attract business to local bookstores.

Despite not wanting or, in many cases, being able to afford owning a home, 48 percent recently shopped at a Home Depot. That could be an indication Millennials are into projects around the house and, as our Benét Wilson wrote on last month, that home ownership might not be too far off for this generation.

And even though Millennials love Netflix and on-demand television like HBO Go that they can watch on their couch, there is still a draw to get out and see a movie. In the past six months, 35 percent have been to a film at an AMC theater.

As for story ideas, take a look at the Neustar data and find what sticks out to you. Even the information that isn’t much of a surprise can be a good starting point for stories.

From real estate companies to fast food joints, there is sure to be a business in your coverage area looking to attract more young people. See what they’re doing and what has worked for them in the past.


Pew Research Millennials
MiamiToday: “Banks change to serve mobile Millennials”


  • Rian Bosse

    Rian Bosse is a PhD student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. He earned his undergraduate degree in English from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2012 and worked for a small daily newspaper, the Daily Journal, in his hometown o...

    View all posts

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