Numbers never lie.
So, if you want to learn about mainstream trends in society, just peel back the onion and look at where money is being spent by consumers.
Or better yet, how money is being spent by consumers.
Millennials — defined as a group of individuals born between 1980-1996 — are America’s largest generation by population. And, in case you haven’t been paying attention, they are distinctly telling us something through trillion dollars in spending habits.
Experiences > Possessions
More than 3 in 4 millennials (78%) would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable.
For many generations, material goods, from jewelry and clothes to cars and homes, were priorities for individuals seeking status or trying to climb the proverbial social ladder.
Nowadays? That ideology has changed — drastically.
The new generation is focused on happiness, and they believe it is achieved through relationships and unique experiences. In a recent study, The Harris Group found that 72 percent of millennials prefer to spend more money on experiences than on material things.
“When it comes to money, ‘experiences’ trump ‘things’: More than 3 in 4 millennials (78%) would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable, and 55% of millennials say they’re spending more on events and live experiences than ever before,” the study said.
A CNBC report agreed with that sentiment.
“Millennials aren’t spending our money on cars, TVS and watches, we’re renting scooters and touring Vietnam, rocking out at music festivals or hiking Machu Picchu,” the report stated.
Let’s be clear – it’s not just millennials that are putting more value on experience-based activities.
While nearly in 8 in 10 millennials said their best memories are from events or live experiences such as concerts or sporting events, 70% of older generations say they would like to increase their experience-based activities as well.
To quote Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption, “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”
Consumers these days want to get busy living.