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These days the concept of owning cars/houses and materialistic things is becoming more and more obsolete. And this trend is getting quite popular amongst the Millennials.
Let me tell you something, money is a very important factor in this growing trend – but not in the way you’re thinking!
Research shows that the millennial generation (also called Gen Y) comprised of people who are now 30-35 rarely buy cars or houses or anything expensive for that matter.
It’s not that they don’t spend money – it’s that they don’t buy as much as previous generations. They have been dubbed in the USA as the ‘generation of renters’.
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Numerous sociologists have confirmed that young adults are avoiding the lifestyle their parents had. They want to avoid the financial pressure of big loans on big ticket items like cars and houses. Not because they don’t have money (although that’s certainly a factor ever since the “Great Recession” of 2008), but because they don’t value the same things as their parents’ generation.
30 years ago a stable job, a fancy car, and a picket-fenced house were the measures of success. These days, people want flexibility more than stability. From investing in experiences rather than materialistic things, to traveling, to building innovative startups, the Millennial generation has redefined the concept of success.
Materialism is Dying
In this day and age of Uber and Airbnb, along with smartphone apps, the concept of owning a car and a nice vacation house has grown out of style.
Why buy a car when I can call a taxi? Why buy a place when I can stay at anywhere on the planet? Over the choice of ‘paying 40 years’ of mortgage and ‘rent a new place’, most people would go for the latter.
Ownership doesn’t translate into happiness.
Psychologists, over the past 10 years have conducted research proving that young adults tend to invest in gathering new experiences rather than buying things.
According to James Hamblin, a columnist from The Atlantic, “Spending money on new experiences is more profitable than buying new things. It brings them more happiness and a sense of well being.”
Experiences over Possessions
Millennials often believe that talking and spending time with friends will make them happier than accumulating material possessions… The more people they interact with, the more enriching their life feels.
They want to hear about the skiing adventures and vacations to exotic places rather than details about materialistic things such as cars and a house in the suburbs.
An extract from Hamblin’s article says:
“Turns out people don’t like hearing about other people’s possessions very much, but they do like hearing about that time you saw Vampire Weekend.”
Time to Stop Worrying
On top of that, owning expensive assets is stressful and cause for a lot of worries. A car might get stolen or get scratched. A house filled with expensive items may get robbed.
The constant state of worrying is exactly the thing the Millennials try to avoid. On the contrary, no one can ever take your experiences away from you.
More appreciation, less depreciation
The parent generation of Millennials preferred settling down. They invested in cars and houses as they had far fewer opportunities in traveling and launching new ventures or following new passions.
Millennials believe that experiences will never go down in price. As no one can rob your experiences and they become even fonder with time.
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