Lab 7 – Economy
A whole generation’s values and culture are created by economic circumstances and technological opportunities. Millennials have grown up with low interest rates and expensive housing. Their economy is tight, so they exchange, streamer and rent. They do not invest and savings are cut out of the budget. In return, they live in the present and they do not mind taking a loan to show their spending on social media.
New economic standards
The Millennial generation challenges the old economic virtues. There are different reasons for that. Firstly, they have grown up in a world where everything can be bought with a few clicks. It also applies to money. A loan is as easily accessible as other online purchases. So why go all the way down to a financial adviser? Or why save up when you can easily borrow what you need? Millennials have a different relationship to debt and savings than their parents. This is partly due to the easy access to loans but to a great extent also the new economic reality they have grown up in.
No room for savings
Own housing is a status purchase for Millennials. But many feel that they have long prospects to afford their own housing. Their rent is already expensive and typically housing costs are half of the budget. The rest goes to food, clothes and fun. It does not provide much space for investment or savings – not even a pension fund. The somewhat unimaginable future means, however, that Millennials live in the present. And they are good at that! They have an indomitably belief in themselves and are sure that it will probably end up alright. Millennials, as they themselves say, have changed tæring efter næring with fake it to you make it.
“People are most active on social media when they buy something or are traveling.”
The present is lived on on social media
Millennials live in the present. Both in the present and on social media. Our conversations with the young people showed that they were completely aware of the prize. Social media challenges the budget. The young people feel pressured for consumption and social activities. For either you are in or you are out. The need for joining in and staying relevant is simply heavier than financial responsibility. Special travel, clothes, cafés and entertainment are high on the list of Millennial’s spending money. And not surprisingly, they are also most active on social media when they have just bought something or are traveling.
“Social contexts have a price. That’s the way it is. It’s important to be involved and we all have a poor economy. But we do not judge each other. We know that it is due to the SoMe culture.“
Millennials are thorough shoppers
Millennials use their purchases to brand themselves. They have a tight economy and are therefore very aware of what they buy. They spend a relatively long time online to find the right product for the best price. It does not have to be new but it must send the correct message. The right purchase is important and therefore becomes a priority. They are also aware that their consumption means something. As consumers, they have the influence to create change. And the attitudes behind are counting at least as much because they help you to define yourself on social media.
Millennials think about good quality that last longer
Some products they research online and buy in store. Women typically look for technology online and along the way, they ask their peers for recommendations on social media. But they feel most confident in making the final purchase at a store. The costumers purchase journey is different according to the product and depending on whether there are men or women.
Why own when you can share?
The answer is economy. Millennials is the generation that has made the share economy flourish. They use shared-cars, book accommodations on airbnb and send their clothes in circulation. They do not own music, movies or books. It is just a natural part of their mobile subscription. They are pleased of the thought of sharing. But the primary reason is economy. Lack of cash helps to make it modern to share and the idea of not owning has come to stay. It is also a counter reaction and a symbol of living a more simple and independent life. A picture that fits a generation that both reuses, shares and borrow to live in the present.