Millennials Would Rather Dine Out Than Save for Retirement: Report

A new survey shows many millennials spend a surprising amount on food and beverages.
A group of millennials enjoying themselves for now...but what about when they retire?

One of the most useful pieces of personal finance advice is also one of the least followed—start saving early for your retirement. As millennials enter their prime earning years, a recent survey makes clear that plenty of them find other ways to spend their paychecks. While 63% of the survey's 1,000 respondents prepare for their eventual retirement by saving at least some money (a monthly average of $480), other expenses, such as dining out, coffee, alcohol and more take a priority for many.

Graph of what percentage of millennials spend more on each expense than saving for retirement every month
Graph and data from LendEDU

The preference of millennials (defined in this survey as 22 to 37- year-olds) to dine out shouldn't come as a surprise, since it falls in line with the rest of the country's culinary habits regardless of age or generation. The Department of Agriculture reported that in 2014 (the most recent year with data available) Americans spent 50.1% of their food budget on restaurants and snacks away from home (think vending machines or movie theater concessions), exceeding the money budgeted for food to be consumed at home.

While dining out and groceries made up the biggest monthly expenses (an average of $163 and $281, respectively) for millennials, other consumables also added up. Millennials spend an average of $75 on alcohol and $38 on coffee per month, with over a quarter of them spending more on these two types of expenses than retirement.

James Ellis

James Ellis is a Staff Writer for ValuePenguin, covering credit, banking, travel and other personal finance topics. He previously wrote for Newsweek, Men's Health, and other nationally-published magazines.

Comments and Questions

{"endpoint":"\/newsletter\/subscribe","style":"blue","title":"Keep up with our news and analysis.","version":"sidebar"}