Playing the generation game when it comes to managing finances

We all belong to a certain generation, depending on the year we were born. But have you ever considered whether when we’re born can affect our attitudes when it comes to our finances?

A new study by Sainsbury’s Bank has been comparing financial habits across the ages and has found that baby boomers, Generation Xers and millennials couldn’t be more different when it comes to spending habits.

What generation do you fall within?

First things first, take a look below to see where you fall:

Baby Boomers – Born between the mid-1940s and early to mid-1960s

Baby boomers were born after the Second World War and will have seen lots of changes over the years and big events in society. The older members of this generation will remember when Beatlemania swept the globe, seeing the first colour TV pictures, the introduction of credit cards and the first men on the moon.

Generation X – Born between the mid-1960s and the end of the 1970s

Generation X is sometimes called the MTV generation. Those born within this era will have grown up when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and are known for having a work hard play hard attitude in life.

Millennials – Born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s

Millennials were the first generation to come of age in the new millennium. They’ve been brought up with all things digital, were the first to use Facebook and expect to always be connected.

Spending habits uncovered

When it comes to spending, it seems millennials have more of a ‘treat yourself’ approach than other generations, with 54% spending their disposable income on dining out and 51% spending theirs on socialising.1 And it’s baby boomers who have the savviest spending approach, as they’re more likely to shop around for deals and will spend on holidays in May and October so they can take advantage of the off-peak holiday seasons.

Generation Xers stand out as the researchers amongst the generations. 78% will shop for a single product via the internet, visit in store and look at various other channels before making a purchase.

Cash or card?

Another area that differs hugely across the generations is what we use to do our spending. It seems that the older baby boomers are still a fan of having cash in their wallets, with 30% carrying around £21-50 cash in their wallets at any given time. On the other hand, 23% of millennials carry less than £5 a day in their wallets.

And one thing that’s common across all three generations is that we’re still quite wary of contactless payments, especially via our mobile phones. Only 30% across all generations felt happy to make payments this way.

However as we move closer and closer to a digital society, it is clear that cash and cheque payments continue to be on the decline across all generations, so it’s expected that within a few decades time all payments will mostly be electronic.

We hope you’ve found this research interesting, it would be great to hear whether you agree with the characteristics your generation has when it comes to your finances. Tweet us @useyournoddle

1 All statistics within this article have been taken from research undertaken by Sainsbury’s Bank – (Published in March 2018)