The Top 16 Splurges Gen Z & Millennials Don’t Regret

When young consumers spend, they often feel guilty—but what are the things they don’t mind paying too much for? We found out…

Did you know that 68% of 13-36-year-olds feel guilty spending money? Young consumers born and raised in the recession (52% of 13-17-year-olds don’t remember a time before it) were trained to bargain shop and to think of anything they don’t “need” as a splurge. As one 32-year-old female told YPulse, “A splurge or treat is buying something I could technically do without, or make at home. Deviating from the bare minimum for survival/ only pay your bills out of your check & save everything else mentality I developed during the Recession. Buying a coffee?? That's $4.50 I could be spending on gas to get to work!! Not having to think that way anymore is still a shock, and I have to actually lower my defenses and give myself permission.” Even as the economy improves, they’re looking for reasons to excuse their spending and feel okay about loosening their purse strings. It’s one of the reasons that “Treat yo’self” has become a motto among Gen Z and Millennials, who are looking for extra encouragement to spend on things that aren’t necessities.

Increasingly, there are things they’re happy to spend a little extra on: Over nine in ten 13-36-year-olds tell us that allowing for indulgences every once in a while is good self-care. Falling into one of those categories is a big advantage to brands—so what are they? In our recent financial monitor survey, we asked 13-36-year-olds, “What is something you spend too much money on but don’t regret?”* Here are the top responses they gave:

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of items that young consumers don’t regret spending too much on—without our preconceived ideas shaping their…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I think we’re already seeing alcohol lose its health halo. Next, the assumption that alcohol is essential to a good, sophisticated life will fade.”—Joy Manning, Deputy Editor, Edible Communities (Medium)

“The doofus dad” TV stereotype is being remade for role-resisting Millennial parents. Inept at care-taking and almost everything else, the tired stereotype is saying its last “D’Oh!” as The Simpson’s Homer Simpson and Peppa Pig’s Daddy Pig get replaced with a new wave of capable fathers like Bluey’s Bandit. The switch could have a real impact on the way kids understand family life, with one research fellow explaining, “The media reflects reality and also constructs reality.” (SMH)

Apple's new subscription gaming service Arcade will cannibalize its own App Store downloads—and that’s a good thing. Downloads in the App Store are on the decline, despite mobile gaming maintaining popularity and raking in revenue. If Apple can turn Arcade into young gamers’ go-to for mobile play, they’ll be poised for success that could outstrip even Apple TV and Apple Music. (The Motley Fool)

Gen Z music artists are “post-genre.” Mixing several influences into one song has become a way for rising artists to set themselves apart, and thanks to self-upload services like SoundCloud, they don’t need music industry exec’s approval. Meanwhile, the Genreless Generation can curate blended playlists via Spotify to fit moods and occasions rather than “rock” or “pop” and are streaming has also globalized their content consumption, so U.S. genres are no longer a limit. (Vice)

Carl’s Jr. has a CBD-infused burger that costs exactly $4.20. The chain restaurant is giving fast food a Cannabis Infusion, but only at one Denver, Colorado location, and only for one day. The Rocky Mountain High Cheese Burger Delight packs 5 mg of the chemical that won’t get you high. CBD is the trendy ingredient du jour, with 57% of 18-36-year-olds telling us they’re interested in trying it, and the chemical has made its way into everything from lotion to La Croix-like beverages. (LAT)

Axe is challenging masculinity with “bathsculinity.” The brand has been blurring gender lines for the Genreless Generation for years now, and their latest series of YouTube spots is showing that men can take baths, too. They’ve enlisted comedian Lil Rel Howery, who takes bubble baths surrounded by candles in the humorous videos. And they couldn’t be more on-trend: bath time is seeing a surge as a salve for Millennial anxiety. (Marketing Dive)

Quote of the Day: “I think for a cohesive strategy and for really helping to build awareness as well as grow the market size for new things, there's definitely digital and social media. But also, there has to be this in-real-life element.”—Alicia Yoon, Founder, Peach & Lily (YPulse)

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