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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Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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