Millennials Approach Big Adult Decisions With a Different Lens Than Their Parents
It’s that time of year where an influx of new college graduates will be initiated into the world of “adulting.” But do millennials see big adult decisions the same way as their predecessors?
With graduation season on the horizon, Swagbucks, an online consumer rewards platform operated by Prodege, LLC surveyed 1,023 adults about their first big adult purchases, milestones, and responsibilities.
The Shiny New Thing for Younger Adults Is Either Handheld or Requires a Parking Spot
While just over a third overall claimed the first big-ticket item they bought as adults was a car, this purchase was much more common among those aged 35 and over (40%) than those under 35 (25%).
For those under 35, electronics emerges as another key big-ticket purchase category, with 16% identifying a cell phone as their first big adult purchase and 10% pinpointing a video game system.
Electronics held less sway as a first big purchase among those 35 and over; rather, clothing was the second most common big-ticket purchase among this group (18%).
Less Urgency to Flee Chez Mom and Dad & Start their First Adult Job
Those aged 35+ recalled that their top priority, once they started earning their own money, was to move out of their parents' house. By contrast, those under 35 were just as likely to get their own cell phone plan (18%) as they were to leave the family home (17%).
In addition to Americans under 35 being in less of a hurry to move out of their parents’ home, this group also delayed starting their first adult job. While 55% of the 35+ group began working their first adult job in high school, slightly over half of the younger group did not do so until their college years (26%) or right after college (27%).
They’re Not Afraid to Spend Big, But Are They Saving Too?
Over four-in-ten American adults spent $500 or more on their first big purchase, with those aged 35+ slightly more enthusiastic in this regard. A quarter overall was more hesitant to part with their hard earned money, spending less than $100 on their first big purchase.
“The first thing I treated myself to as an adult was a fancy dinner. It felt very rewarding to pay for that meal myself,” said Chuck Davis, CEO, and Chairman of Prodege, LLC. “At Swagbucks, we pride ourselves on our rewards program that enables shoppers to earn cash and gift cards to help with their memorable purchases.”
While people just entering the workforce tend to go big in spending on their first major purchases, many are saving too. Once they began making their own money, starting a savings account was the first milestone for almost one-third of them.
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