Millennials the “Cheapest Generation”?
Posted On September 18, 2012
Millennials aren’t buying, at least not big ticket items, according to an Atlantic Monthly analysis that calls them the “The Cheapest Generation.” The number of twenty-somethings who buy cars is off nearly a third from its peak. Even the number of teenagers with a driver’s license is down nearly 30% in the last ten years. Home-buying numbers are similar. The number of people under 35 buying homes is down by 12%.
Millennials are a generation short on money, with a heavy debt load and grim job prospects. But, in addition to not having the money for big-ticket items, Millennials don’t seem to value them as much as previous generations, preferring to spend what money they have on themselves, particularly on education and technology.
Though their indebtedness is a source of their “cheapness” and may create shortfalls for the auto and realty industry, the debt collection industry is openly excited about Millennials’ debt, particularly student loans that can’t be written down in bankruptcy. The amount of student loans in default has reached $76 billion, an amount described, perhaps cruelly, as “lip-smacking” in a debt collection trade publication.