Friends, our time has come – the spending stats are finally on our side. You officially have evidence to use in your favour next time a baby boomer tries to prosecute you for enjoying a light brunch in the city, thanks to the Grattan Institute’s Generation Gap report.
As well as finding that “the wealth of households under 35 has barely moved since 2004”, the report also showed that under 25s are the only group spending less on non-essential goods now than they were back in the late 80s.
Recreational activities who? We don’t know her!
Obviously the cost of living has rocketed for everyone, we already knew that and we’ve been feeling it for a while now. But Millennials are struggling with it the most, and we know now that it’s not because of the lattes, avocados, or wagyu beef.
More than half of households headed by an under-25-year-old have experienced at least one indicator of financial stress – not that the quarter of 75+ year-olds going through it is great either. Spending your paycheck on your mortgage repayment shouldn’t compromise your ability to have a hot meal. Call me a radical!
Some of the pearls of wisdom are so foreboding that it’s like hearing an omen from the Oracle of Delphi – if she was a very dry data analyst. “If low wage growth is the ‘new normal’”, the report says, “then Australia could have a generation emerge from young adulthood with lower incomes than the one before.”
And sure, it might be fear-mongering a little, but with a recession supposedly right around the corner, it’s not like there’s no cause for concern. Besides, I’m hardly a statistician – who am I to argue with the ABS?
Some of the luxuries we’re spending less on seem kind of obvious, I have to say. Less on household goods and furnishings? Duh, we’ve got Kmart. Clothes too? Nothing wrong with a bit of Target fashion here and there, and it seems like every store has a different sale on every day. Although maybe all the avocado toasts are included in the ‘food’ tally, so I guess that means we all have have guilty pleasures to account for. Yikes.