CHERRY HILL, N.J., May 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Millennials make more discretionary purchases but still spend less money than the average American consumer, according to TD Bank's Consumer Spending Index. Despite "going out" twice as often as Generation X and three times as often as Baby Boomers, Millennials spent less per month on purchases than their older cohorts.
TD Bank's Consumer Spending Index polled more than 1,500 national consumers, asking them to share their monthly spending habits.
On average, U.S. consumers spend more than $1,000 per month on discretionary items like dining/fast food, retail, entertainment, apparel, and travel and more than $1,600 per month on bills including rent and/or mortgage payments. That's more than $32,000 annually, not including car payments/insurance, loan or debt repayments, or healthcare. Millennials, by comparison, spend an average of more than $26,000/year, 27% less than Gen Xers and 23% less than Baby Boomers.
Millennial Lifestyle: Thrifty, Fun – and Fueled by Caffeine
Millennials made more purchases on retail goods and dining than other generations, but spent less money overall. In fact, the only category where Millennials spent more than Gen X and Boomers is on coffee and fast food – demonstrating a need for food on the run and frequent doses of caffeine.
- Millennials dined out 13 times per month, more than Generation X (eight) and Baby Boomers (five), yet spent less ($103) on monthly dining than Generation X ($123) and Baby Boomers ($139).
- Millennials grab coffee or food to go 11 times per month, more than Gen X (7 times) and Boomers (5 times), spending almost $80/month, (compared with the average $67/month).
Millennials Not Buying In When it Comes to Credit Cards
Millennials split their spending much more evenly between credit and debit cards than other generations.
- On average, Americans spend $4,700 per year with a credit card, and $2,400 with cash, a debit card and checks for discretionary purchases.
- Millennials tend to use cash, a debit card and checks more often ($5,200) and charge 22% less ($3,300) than the average consumer
- Millennials used debit cards, cash and checks for 50 percent of their overall monthly spend, and credit for only 33 percent.
"Surprisingly, younger Americans are spending more with debit, cash and checks than credit. These payment methods are certainly necessary, but without a balanced spend on credit consumers are passing up cash rewards and the opportunity to build their credit profile," said Julie Pukas, head of U.S. Bankcard and Merchant Solutions at TD Bank. "For those who dine out, shop and go out frequently, strategically using credit for those purchases can impact your overall budget."
Consumers Passing Up Easy Money
For the average consumer, one month of purchases generated annual cash back rewards* of nearly $150, which equals one month of dining out, one month of gas, two months of entertainment or two months of coffee and fast-food purchases, based on survey respondents' average spending.
- More than one-third (39 percent) consumers don't have a credit card, or have a card, but don't participate in a rewards program.
- The average American spent $1,500 on dining out annually, yet one in eight consumers did not have a credit card with cash back rewards.
"When you factor today's economy into discretionary spending, consumers need to earn dollars back wherever they can. A month of free gas, or two months of free coffee, just for making your regular purchases really adds up, and consumers are leaving that money on the table by choosing cash over credit," says Pukas, "Meet with a credit card provider to evaluate the best card options for you based on your purchasing patterns and monthly spend across categories. It's important to be strategic and use credit wisely to optimize rewards."
The study was conducted among a nationally representative group of consumers from April 1 – April 12, 2016. The sample size of 1,576 has a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent. Data has been weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the populations. The survey was hosted by global research company Vision Critical.
*Based on terms of a rewards card offering 2 percent cash back on dining and fast food, and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
About Vision Critical
Vision Critical provides a cloud-based customer intelligence platform that helps companies build engaged, secure communities of customers they can use continuously, across the enterprise, for ongoing, real-time feedback and insight.
About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,200 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit www.td.com.
SOURCE TD Bank