Shocking Spending Habits By Generations

Today, the shift in spending habits among millennials and generations before hand is shockingly different.

I was curious about the data and how it differs decades ago.  Since the economy appears to be in good shape, I thought I dive deeper into how American households are really holding up.

I managed to do some research and pulled up data from the U.S. Department of Labor.  It was exciting to find out how each generation performed.

Since more millennials are entering the workforce, researchers and people like myself were curious to find out how young people are spending their money.

Consumer expenditures – 2016

  • Personal insurance and pensions expenditures rose 7.6 percent to $6,831
  • Healthcare expenditures rose 6.2 percent. This was primarily driven by increased
    health insurance expenditures, up 6.1 percent.
  • Rent increased to 6.1%
  • Housing up by 1.4%
  • Food rose to 4.9%
  • Entertainment up by 2.5%

It appears that necessities, such as health care and rent was the most shocking to see to go up.  And housing was obviously down by 1.4% because the costs of everything else keeps on rising.  No wonder some collage graduates have a hard time moving out of their parent’s house.  With the rising costs, we can’t get a break.

Why am I curious about our spending habits?

I still find our economy to be shaky.  Lots of American cities might be doing we well, while other inner cities, such as Detroit, Baltimore, and Buffalo might be growing slowly.  l moved to Buffalo, NY almost 2 years ago and I think the economy here is very stagnant.  Compared to where I was living before, which was Seattle, WA, is a bigger metropolitan city where the economy was very much alive.

Seattle’s economy has rich diverse industries, such as technology, aerospace, and manufacturing.

For example, Washington has the 6th largest technology company in the world, which is Microsoft.  Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and services.

Moreover, Washington has Boeing, which is an aircraft manufacturing company.  The Boeing Company is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotor craft, rockets, and satellites worldwide. The company also provides leasing and product support services.

A graph is shown below of the several distinctive generations throughout our lifetime.

This could be particularly useful for companies in technology, entertainment and the housing industry.

Generations of our lifetime:

  • Greatest generation: 1928 or earlier
  • Silent Generation: 1929-1945
  • Baby Boomers: 1946-1964
  • Generation X: 1965-1980
  • Millennials: 1981-now


Generation X spent more on other stuff than we did.  Did they have more fun? Maybe the answer is yes.

I remember going to the movies with my folks and eating Chinese food every weekend as a kid.

We did have more fun.  Played all kinds of games.  My mom bought us Nintendo for Christmas.  We had 2 Game boys.  We all rode bikes.  We played until the sunset.  Life was good.

Shocking events in Income vs. Expenditures

Even though our yearly income at our jobs may seem like they’ve improved, are we really better off?

For example, if your yearly salary is $72,990 before taxes you could say that’s a pretty good salary.  But, if your expenses is $56,258 that leaves you in a tough situation.  You are actually poorer than most other folks in my opinion.

The biggest expenses compared from 2015-2016 was food, gas, housing and vehicle insurance.  See statistics here at Consumers Expenditures Mid Year Update – July 2015- June 2016.  Even though this was only a year ago, this data is particularly useful for 2017.

The Sticker Shocker

  • Spending on food increased to 4.5%
  • Spending at restaurants increased to 6.6%
  • Groceries or eating at home increased to 3.0%
  • Healthcare spending rose 2.1 percent to $4,470 for July 2015 through June 2016
  • Personal insurance and pensions expenditures continued an upward trend and increased 8.3 percent following a 9.0 percent increase during the previous year

I really believe my parents had it much better than we did.  They’ve really struggled to get by, but at least they’ve managed to purchase a home and raise a family.  My dad had a decent job that he was able to work his way up to get promoted to supervisor.  He put food on the table, bought us clothes and was able to take us to Disneyland.  In those times I don’t remember him have to look for a job each year.  Maybe because he worked for the government.  The Federal government payed really good and offered good pensions and benefits.  My mom had a job, but my dad told her to quit her job because he made too much money.  They didn’t want to owe the IRS more taxes than they already had.  So I would say life was good growing up.  We had a good life.  I can’t complain.

However, now I’m an adult I worry more about our future because there’s so many uncertainties in life.  So many issues to worry about and not a lot of time.

I just hope to God everything works out for us.


The struggle is REAL.

What is one thing you struggle with today?  How can we resolve our economic problems?  Leave me a comment so we can talk about it.  Thanks!

Lets rant together.

If you like this, then read How is the Economy Doing in Your State?

US Job Growth in 2017: Slow but Steady Battle


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