Millennials are Spending, but Study Finds They are More Fiscally Responsible than They Get Credit For

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

The 2015 Summer Consumer Spending Survey released today by Segmint, Inc., a global leader in active analytics and Always On, cross-channel marketing, revealed that while spending overall this summer is not expected to increase, millennials are likely to spend more than any other group, especially on leisure activities. However, growing concerns over carrying debt have spurred millennials to be more fiscally conscious, paying with available funds in their checking and savings accounts rather than financing summer activities using their credit card, according to findings from the study.

Though millennials are paying close attention to their spending, the research indicated that this group of consumers are the only ones that noted an increase in planned summer leisure spending this year compared to last summer (32 percent).

Millennial respondents who do plan to fund summer leisure purchases with credit cards are doing so in order to earn credit (30 percent) instead of earning rewards points, which was the most likely reason given by respondents aged 35 – 44 (27 percent) and 65+ (21 percent). In choosing to use checking and savings accounts instead of credit cards to fund leisure travel, millennials appear to recognize the risk of carrying debt as a result of spending. 

"Millennials are often wrongly perceived as a group and miscast as carefree when it comes to personal finances," said Rob Heiser, President and CEO, Segmint. "However, the data within this study shows that's just not the case. It's important for marketers to understand that this group is actually very conscious of how they approach purchases and are actively taking steps to manage the implications of their spending. These insights are critical to maximizing engagement with this attractive group, whose growing purchasing power cannot be denied." 

Additional findings include:

  • 36 percent of millennial respondents will allocate the majority of their leisure spending this summer to food/drink, focusing on items that are priced lower than the costs associated with airfare and travel 
  • 26 percent of younger millennials (18 – 24) plan to take only one trip this summer whereas 14 percent of those on the older end of the millennial spectrum (25 – 34) plan to take three or more trips 
  • 28 percent of respondents ages 18 – 24 plan to spend less than $100 total on leisure activities this summer compared to 7 percent of the same age group who plan to spend between $3,000 and $5,000

"Millennials are a critical demographic for marketers to reach, but they must reach and engage with this group effectively. Deeper insights into the data reveal that many millennials will make spending decisions after much research and consideration rather than impulse," said Heiser. "By ensuring that marketing campaigns are carefully targeted and relevant based on actual behaviors and interests gleaned from real-time transactional information, marketers will see the greatest gain in sales from millennials in the long term."