Despite crushing debt and lack of employment, Millennials are spending.
American Millennials are in a financial conundrum, facing crushing student debt and disproportionately stuck in part-time employment. But while their income is 30 percent lower than the U.S. average, Millennials spend just 9 percent less than average on non-essentials (apparel, entertainment and dining out, etc.), according to a recent report on this generation by Experian. In 2013, Millennial discretionary spending totaled $367.4 billion, 21 percent of the U.S. total of $1.7 trillion.
While their financial constraints have forced a record number of Millennials to live with their parents, as Pew reported last year and The New York Times Magazine recently spotlighted, this arrangement may also provide some leeway when it comes to discretionary spending. Looking ahead, however, this generation will likely have to cut back dramatically as they strike out on their own and create families, especially since many expect to spend decades paying for college, per NPR.