Americans Binge On Brunch

According to a survey of 1,000 people by Brandtrust, a research and strategy firm, reported by Quentin Fottrell, millions of Americans of all ages are blowing their cash in fancy brunch spots. Every age group admits to busting their budget on food and beverages.

It’s the Number One reason for exceeding expenses for those aged 20 to 29 (40%)

  • 30 to 39 (34%)
  • 40 to 49 (39%)
  • 50 to 59 (36%)
  • Those aged 60 and older (33%)

Perhaps less surprisingly, says the report, the younger cohorts aged 20 to 39 are most likely to overspend on alcohol (roughly 9.5%) than older people.

Additional similarities between generations, according to the report, include:

  • Entertainment (16.4%)
  • Clothes, accessories and beauty products (16%) were a close second and third place for the youngest cohort aged 20 to 29.
  • Children’s expenses were the second most popular reason for breaking a budget for those aged 30 to 39 (20%), 40 to 49 (22%) and 50 to 59 (18%).
  • Entertainment was the second most popular reason for exceeding expenses for the oldest cohort aged 60 and older (33%).

The authors of the report said the spending coincided with the late developmental psychologist Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development.

  • “The younger generation is trying to facilitate mating goals with alcohol, clothing and entertainment,” they said
  • “The middle generation shifts to childbearing and rearing and begins to focus on meeting their children’s needs,” according to Erikson
  • For those 65 and older, “the virtue is wisdom, and the challenge is to become content with the entirety of one’s life,” says the report

Millennials are actually spending less eating out, according to a study released last November by Bank of America Merrill “It stands out as a bit unusual how soft restaurant spending has been, considering where we are in the business cycle,” Michelle Meyer, head of U.S. economics at BofA Merrill Lynch, told CNBC. “The consumer should be spending more on a broad range of items.” She likened the trend to “a recessionary environment,” says the report.

Another reason to not treat millennials like spendthrifts: 47% of working millennials have $15,000 or more in savings and 16% have $100,000 or more in savings, according to Bank of America’s recent “Better Money Habits” report. A nine-year bull market has clearly helped. The findings stand in sharp contrast to Americans as a whole, who are saving less money than ever.

Millennials have bigger problems than eating too many brunches over the weekend. They shoulder more student loan debt than any other generation and face house prices that are far higher than their parents did at their age. Student loan debt has reached $1.4 trillion as the cost of college has soared. And spending no more than 30% of their income on rent or a mortgage, a golden rule for decades, is nearly impossible for many young Americans, concludes the report.

For additional information from the report, please visit here.


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