Millennial Spending Trends for 2019

Millennials are at the point in their lives where they have more expendable income than ever. They still do not have as much money as their parents did at the same age, but they do have some money to spend.

However, it is important for businesses to understand that millennials do not spend money on the same things their parents and grandparents did.

Millennials are not making the same big ticket purchases of earlier generations, such as homes and private vehicles. They also tend to spend more money on luxury items for immediate gratification, such as eating out and attending concerts. In fact, they spend a higher percentage of their take-home pay for activities and goods, while still trying to pay down student loans and keep themselves above water. In 2019, millennial spending trends continue to differentiate them from previous generations.

Dining Out

Millennials love to eat out, even when it means spending more than they can realistically afford. Because they work long hours and are involved in more activities than their parents were at the same age, they tend to spend more money on take-out and dine-in meals. In fact, the typical millennial spends over $150 each month on restaurant dining and more on take-out food they can eat at home.


Healthy living and staying in shape are strong incentives for millennials. They spend more than any previous generation to get fit and stay in shape, including on:


  • Gym memberships.


  • Workout clothes.
  • Exercise equipment.
  • Specialized classes.



Health foods and supplements also go into the mix. Personal trainers and targeted fitness classes are expected to be more popular than ever with millennials moving into 2019.

Experiences vs. Things

Millennials value experiences such as exotic vacations, zip lines and trips to the theater more than material goods. They look for experiences and other intangibles as a better investment than home goods and other items that quickly depreciate over time.

Related article: Ideas for Single Travelers on a Budget

For millennials, owning a huge house or having a luxury vehicle pales in comparison to traveling to foreign countries. In order for young adults to take advantage of the many experiences available, they often tiny homes rather than oversized, “status” houses. Some even forego home ownership altogether, in favor of renting instead.

Lyft and Uber

With less expendable income, many millennials are turning to public transportation or ridesharing services rather than purchasing their own cars. Uber and Lyft are the most popular services used by millennials to get around town. This frees them from the cost of car maintenance, parking, auto maintenance and insurance while giving them the mobility they want. With more ridesharing services entering the market in 2019, it is a safe bet more young adults than ever will opt to forego owning a vehicle of their own.

Pets as People

Millennials are not getting married as young as their parents did. They also are not having children as young, if at all. Instead, young adults are adopting pets in record numbers and getting incredibly attached to their animal companions. They indulge them in the same way many Baby Boomers indulge their grandchildren, spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars each year to ensure their animal companions are happy.

In fact, many millennials spend more on their pets than they do on their own healthcare. These happy pet owners will no doubt continue to purchase gourmet pet foods and designer clothing for their dogs and cats in 2019.

More Online Shopping

Millennials love to shop online. It allows them to browse at their leisure, comparison shop and check out lots of reviews before making a purchase. Millennials are proud of their savvy shopping skills and take the time to check out consumer websites before investing in anything from television sets to service providers.

Related article: Best Times to Shop Online

Online shopping also gives millennials more time to do other things. Shopping is more of a chore than an occasion for young adults, as opposed to their parents or grandparents who saw a shopping trip as something to look forward to.

Indulgent Beverages

Whether it is a pour-over coffee with soy creamer, or a high-end cocktail with premium liquor, millennials love to indulge in expensive beverages. Micro-breweries, local wineries and limited edition brews all capture the imagination and taste buds of young adults looking for drinks that reflect their upscale tastes.

Coffee is not just something you drink with your breakfast, it is an experience. Drinking craft beer demonstrates millennial fascination with the how and why of brewing, rather than being an easy way to catch a buzz. In 2019 more breweries, wineries and cafés will spring up across the country to cater to millennials looking to indulge in unique drinks.

Less Dependence on Credit Cards

Millennials continue to rely on bank cards to pay for many day-to-day purchases. Unlike their parents, however, they are using bank-issued debit cards more than they use credit cards. They realize credit cards are charging them high interest and do not like the idea of paying more over time. Instead, millennials use debit cards because they are seen as the more financially safe option and do not cost them money. This combination appeals to millennials who worry about getting in over their heads financially.

Bargain Shopping

Millennials love a bargain, and online shopping is just one facet of this bargain-hunting trend among millennials. They also search for coupons online and in print, are willing to wait a few weeks for sales and use barter as well as cash to pay for items. Millennials rely on an ever-increasing number of mobile apps to alert them to special deals and perks when shopping.

They also shop second-hand stores more than the previous generation. The stigma of shopping at used furniture stores and wearing gently used clothing is largely gone among millennials keen to save money for the experiences they long for.

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