They are the earners, spenders and the trendsetters, and also a whopping 83 million in number. Welcome to the world of millennials, the Gen ‘Y’ club born between the early ’80s and the mid-’90s. Forming a quarter of the country’s population today, these youngsters are also the largest amongst all generations.
Given their sheer size and impact, millennials are often the talk of the town; not just for their increasingly online lives – be it shopping, dating, streaming or socializing, but also for their fair share of struggles. Often labeled as materialistic and spoilt, they are also a bunch that is desperate to save up, having found themselves amid student debts, rising costs, and depressed wages. So given the realities that exist today, how are millennials living out their lives and what are they doing to secure their future? Piplsay digs for some answers*:
Millennials may be receiving flak for their fluid lifestyle, but in the end, their goals are just the same as generations before them – be it owning a house, buying a car or getting married. While some of these decisions may be delayed because of financial trappings, like lack of savings for a down payment on a house, they are nevertheless getting there. The good news is millennials are starting to save earlier than the other generations, largely due to mounting concerns over financial security.
About 80% of millennials in the Piplsay survey agree to be saving some percentage of their salary each month. This, is surprising, considering that over 70% of them are paying off at least one loan at any given point in time. The fact that loans figure low in the list of salary expenses could be reflective of the growing trend in millennials relying on parental assistance in paying off some of their debts, especially student loans. In terms of savings, millennials also seem to be risk-averse, as revealed by the Piplsay survey. Having witnessed the stock market decline in 2001 and the 2008-09 financial crisis, they seem to be wary of investing in stocks, preferring instead to opt for simple and safe investments like a savings account, CDs, and mutual funds.
Given their changing lifestyles and the growing social media influence, millennials want to enjoy or be seen enjoying the very best in life. However, lower earnings and savings often put them in a catch 22 situation – to spend or not to spend. And when they do spend, its shopping and socializing that makes for a huge chunk of their regular expenses.
Today, millennials are seen as driving new-age businesses just as they are seen as ending the traditional ones. But whatever the take, there is no denying the fact that they are a force that cannot simply be ignored. The world is transforming, and millennials are the ones who are leading the way.
* Based on 15,000 online responses; Target age group – 23-38 years