The spending of the millennial generation is varied, and vastly different from any of its predecessors. While there are many things millennials don’t actively buy, like homes, cars, or even cable, recent graduates do spend a ludicrous amount of money on non-essentials—often without even being cognizant of these terrible spending patterns.
Luxury Gym Memberships
Fitness is important, and if a gym membership gets you working out, then by all means it’s worth the cost and the savings in health care later on down the road. However, luxury gym memberships are just that—a luxury, meaning a non-essential. Spending $100 each month on a gym that has a sauna, fresh cucumber water, or a saltwater pool may seem like a good idea, but really, what are you getting out of that $1,200 spent each year?
If you end up heading to the treadmill each time, you’re really doing your wallet a disservice. You can easily spend only $25 or less each month on a basic gym membership, meaning less than a dollar a day for use. If you’re worried about your budget, switch to a lower cost gym, or simply forgo it and go on a run in your neighborhood each day. You’ll see the dividends in your bank account.
Smoking is bad for you, although in 2016 that goes without saying. There’s no way to argue around it, but the fact remains that millennials continue to buy cigarettes. If you’re still smoking, you know how much money you waste on a product that kills you with each puff. Breaking it down into monetary values, the average smoker in the United States spends over $5,000 each year on their favorite tobacco products.
It’s time to quit and give your lungs—and your wallet—a break. If you just can’t go without your nicotine fix, consider patches. If that doesn’t work, try switching to a vaping device and use different e-liquid flavors from a company like NJOY to keep you from going back to dangerous tobacco.
Heading out to your local bar and having a couple drinks costs more than just a few bucks these days. There are several ways to calm down this type of spending. Take only cash to the bar, and when once it runs out, know that the purchasing of drinks for the night is done. Another option is to have a drink beforehand (as long as you’re taking a cab or have a willing designated driver) to cut down on the number of drinks you will consume while out. Finally, cut back on your drinking in general. It’s a depressant and costs a small fortune for each night out, meaning it’s a waste of money.
Millennials seem to have a weak spot for juice cleanses, citing purported health benefits as a reason to shell over hundreds of dollars for liquid fruit. However, these supposed health benefits might not be as beneficial as previously touted. Juicing removes fiber from fruits and veggies, meaning you won’t be full or satisfied when you’re done. The sugars in the juice can also make your blood sugar levels dip and skyrocket throughout the day, meaning huge mood and energy swings. Most importantly, cleanses can be dangerous, as your body isn’t getting the sufficient calories or nutrition needed for days at a time.
You’d be hard pressed to find a city that doesn’t have multiple Starbucks coffee shops lining its blocks. Coffee chains are one of the biggest wallet drainers known to millennials, and the convenience and branding of these chains makes it hard to say no to a latte delight on your way to that early morning conference. If you’re an avid coffee shop customer, you might be spending over $1,200 a year. Instead of waiting in long drive-thru lines, brew your own coffee at home. It’s faster, cheaper, and often tastes better than what you can find at your local coffee chain. If you want even more convenience, grab a Keurig to fill those last-minute cups.
Poor money habits and non-essential spending plague millennials, but with early recognition of unnecessary expenses, saving can become more of a reality for today’s recent graduates.