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The word “millennial” has earned itself a bit of a negative reputation in the last few years. For the most part, this is completely unjustified – it’s pretty much the same thing that’s been happening for years, with one generation complaining about the next because they’re doing things differently. Baby Boomers complained about Generation X, and now the Gen Xers are complaining about Millennials – who themselves will probably start complaining about Generation Z pretty soon!

Whatever your feelings on Millennials, they make up a significant chunk of the population. In fact, they’re about 25% of the population of the U.S. If you’re unfamiliar with who would be classified as a Millennial, it may help to know that this term is generally applied to everyone born between 1983 and 1996, making Millennials today roughly between age 22 and age 36. This makes them a pretty important demographic for the vast majority of businesses out there, yours included, and it’s worth your while to learn about their spending habits. Let’s take a look at how Millennials are spending their money.


Before we really get into this, it’s worth noting that the spending habits of Millennials can actually seem a bit alarming on the surface. Millennials often appear to be impulsive spenders and like they overdo it on things they really don’t need.

Some people try to chalk this up to a lack of basic financial education for this generation as it grew up, but that’s not really fair. We’ll discuss a bit later why these habits are not really something to worry about, but for now let’s look at one key purchase category – clothes.

Millennials make twice as many apparel purchases as boomers and other generations do, but when we dig deeper into these statistics, we find that they’re actually spending less money than previous generations.

This would seem to suggest that Millennials are not purchasing more clothing because they need the items or because they enjoy acquiring them but because they enjoy the experience of shopping. They enjoy the process of finding things they like that are relatively inexpensive.

Retailers may be able to benefit from this by putting less focus on the usefulness of their products and instead on how they make the purchaser feel or how they enhance their life. While this may seem like a step in the wrong direction for the clothing industry, it’s really just an adaptation to future generations.


Like clothing, food is a necessity that is treated by Millennials as more of an experience. As you might expect, Millennials tend to spend more money on dining out than previous generations.

It’s common for Millennials to seek out popular restaurants offering new or innovative experiences while Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are more likely to seek out a quieter and more affordable place.

Millennials are also big spenders at coffee shops. Despite the fact that the most popular coffee chains are getting more and more expensive, Millennials seem to be willing to eat those price increases and are therefore spending more money on coffee than any other generation by quite a significant margin.

You may be seeing a bit of a pattern emerging here. As a restaurant or coffee shop owner, to attract Millennials you should focus on the experience they’re having in your establishment.


Once again, Millennials are the most likely generation to seek out the newest and what is perceived to be the trendiest phone. What’s more interesting about this, however, is how these phones influence how they spend their money.

Millennials spend a lot of time on their phones and are therefore more likely to pay attention to brands that are advertised on social media or through mobile apps. It’s a wise place to advertise your services if you want this particular demographic to have you on their radar.

Because of this strong connection with the online world, there are also quite a few Millennials who are choosing to work remotely. Millennial remote workers are likely spending quite a bit of money on services that support that lifestyle like connectivity and productivity tools and apps.

What Does This Mean For You?

It’s clear that Millennials tend to look more for unique and memorable experiences than material goods. No matter what you sell, if you want to attract Millennial buyers you’re going to need to focus on your customer experience. Millennials define value differently than previous generations – it’s not about the lowest price, it’s about the experience and connection they have with your product and brand. Customer service matters with Millennial consumers like never before, and you’re going to need to pay extra attention to how you conduct business if you want to be successful with this generation. That means no more wasting time on aspects of your business that distract you, like credit card processing. 360 Payments is a reliable partner who will handle your credit card transactions so you don’t have to. If you’re ready to focus on other parts of your business besides payments, give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’re ready to transform your payments experience.