81% of Millennials Are More Likely to Spend Money on Travel Than Save for the Future

May 19, 2017

The Australian real estate millionaire who suggested millennials need to stop spending so freely on avocados to buy a house might actually have a point.

According to a Bank of America Merrill Edge study published Friday, today's 18- to 34-year-olds are much more likely to prioritize travel, dining, and their gym membership over their financial future.

"Their 'fear-of-missing-out' (FOMO) mentality is also apparent in their spending habits," the Merrill Edge report reads.

The study of more than 1,000 relatively affluent individuals found that 81% of millennials were more likely to spend on travel, 65% on dining, and 55% on fitness, than saving for their financial future.

Moreover, millennials aren't thinking about retiring as early as possible; instead, they're looking to have the most fulfilling life possible.

"We’re seeing millennials save to live their desired lifestyle, not for an exit strategy to leave the workforce," wrote Aron Levine, the head of Merrill Edge.

That is in contrast to the Boomer and Gen-Xers: the majority of both generations said they save up in the hopes of finally retiring.

So, perhaps spending on minor luxuries is delaying homeownership — but only to an extent.

Researchers and economists have postulated other factors that are believed to be preventing millennials from owning a home. Namely, the rising, and sizable burden of student loans, which ballooned to about $35,000 per student in 2016.

That's roughly three times what their parents had to worry about when leaving university two decades earlier. Meanwhile, millennials may be earning about 20% less than their parents were at their same life stage.

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