Photographer: Getty Images

Millennials Aren't Cheap, They're Thrifty

Millennials would rather save than sleep.

Presented with the option of becoming a Kardashian or saving some dough, millennials overwhelming pick Benjamin over Kim. The notoriously debt-ridden and underemployed generation is apparently more broke than fame-hungry.

This generation, now the largest in the country, has an annual spending power of $600 billion and each member spends an estimated $85 per day. But faced with unrelenting student debt and an uncertain job market, they don't spend lightly. The e-commerce platform Hollar surveyed more than 1,000 Americans in an effort to determine just how tight-fisted millennials are.

Those polled overwhelmingly agreed that stereotypically millennial achievements, like having a large social media following or getting matched with all their Tinder crushes, were less important than saving money. Even sleep was also less important than money: 71 percent of millennials polled said they would rather never pay full price while shopping again than be able to sleep in at their leisure. 

But this doesn't make millennials cheap; it makes them value and price conscious.

Asked to name the key factor in a beauty product purchase, millennial women polled for an April 2015 Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst report overwhelming said value. And finding such a product is worth the hassle: 71 percent of millennials will go online to compare prices before making a purchase and over half have compared prices while in the store. 

Millennials are also beginning to splurge a bit. Forty-two percent of millennials told Gallup they spend more now than they did a year ago, compared with 37 percent of Americans of all ages, according to a May report. In particular, rent and leisure activity spending went up for this demographic.

Occasionally, shopping itself becomes the leisure activity: 39 percent of millennials have gone shopping just for fun. 

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