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30 Popular Spending Habits Millennials Are Refusing to Take Part In

Popular Spending Habits Millennials Are Refusing to Take Part In
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Times are changing, and the millennials and Gen Z generations are coming of age, and those two generations have some new ideas that a lot of baby boomers aren’t particularly partial to. From household appliances, food products, clothes, various services, and everything in between, millennials and Gen Z are blamed for ruining all kinds of things and have received a lot of criticism because of it.

Like it or not, millennials and Gen Z’s spending habits are causing significant economic and social shifts. So, what exactly are the refusing to buy? You probably know houses and diamonds, but there are several in here that will probably surprise you. This is a general idea of what millennials and Gen Zers are refusing to spend their hard-earned dollars on…mostly because it takes so long to earn a single dollar.

Cars and Gas

Let’s be real, cars are wildly expensive, even those that are bought secondhand. Insurance is even more expensive, and gas prices never stop going up. Most millennials and Gen Z are using bikes and public transportation instead of cars to help save money in the long run.

Fabric Softener

This one’s a little weird, but apparently, millennials and Gen Z are killing fabric softener. Most younger people find fabric softener just isn’t really necessary anymore, or they’ve figured out cheaper homemade alternatives.


Trading cereal for avocado toast, millennials and Gen Z are being blamed for the death of the cereal industry. The New York Times conducted a survey and found that 40% of the millennials found cereal as an “inconvenient breakfast choice.”

Business Suits

Imagine any millennial or Gen Z leader (like millennial Mark Zuckerberg). Can you picture them in a suit? Probably not. Most younger generations side with him, too, and they seek out jobs where they can dress more casually rather than having to ‘suit up’ every day.


For millennials and Gen Z, buying a home in most U.S. markets can seem forever out of reach. Some experts speculate that millennials and older Gen Zs are entirely skipping the starter home to focus on going straight to larger homes or staying in apartments.


Weird, right? What’s wrong with milk? Well, a lot of millennials and Gen Z are going vegan or vegetarian (yes, there’s a difference). Others are choosing healthier, more environmentally friendly options. During the lives of millennials and Gen Z, a survey by The Dairy Farmers of America showed that milk sales dropped around 40%.

Land Lines

The National Health Interview Survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that 66% of millennials live in completely wireless homes and 41% have no landline phone. Gen Z and millennials are overall just ditching their landlines for their homes and sticking with their forever-with-them cellphones.


Be honest, who actually enjoys ironing? Definitely not millennials and Gen Z, apparently. Fewer and fewer members of the younger generations are wearing formal clothes as often as their predecessors, so ironing is falling out of favor. Bustle has also pointed out that many modern fabrics don’t need ironing, not to mention there are several cheaper alternatives.

Lottery Tickets

A 2016 Gallup survey found that only a third of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 said that they’d played the lottery in that year, compared to the 61% of those aged 50-64 who played it. Millennials and younger generations have realized that the odds of winning the lottery are so high that they’ve decided to use the money on other, more important things.

Nine-to-Five Work Days

Millennials and older Gen Z are cutting themselves free of that old nine-to-five schedule that so many of their parents and grandparents worked. Numerous reports have shown that younger generations are placing a significant emphasis on flexibility in the workplace. The flexibility they’re looking for helps out future bosses just as much as it does employees.


Let’s be real here. Weddings are ridiculously expensive, and younger generations have taken notice. Bloomberg has found that younger Americans are waiting longer and longer to marry, and more than half of today’s 25 to 34-year-olds are single.


This kind of goes right along with the wedding slide, but millennials and Gen Z definitely don’t see diamonds as their best friend. Analysts at the Gemological Institute have found that while diamond sales aren’t declining, they’ve definitely plateaued.

Bulk Groceries

Millennials and Gen Z just aren’t as interested in discount warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s like their parents and grandparents have been. Retail analysists have predicted that warehouse clubs will be on the decline if they can’t figure out a way to draw in the younger generations.

Domestic Beers

You’d think that beer would be a universal favorite no matter the generation, but millennials and older members of Gen Z just aren’t fans. It seems that most millennials would choose wine over beer.


Gen Xers and baby boomers are known for their love of cruises, but millennials and Gen Z seemed to have missed the boat (pun definitely intended). The Caribbean News Service reports that younger travelers prefer more “authentic” experiences.


Millennials and Gen Z have been accused of killing marriage and relationships, but they also seem to be killing divorce. A study from the University of Maryland found that between 2008-2016 (prime time for millennials to be married and some of the older Gen Z members) divorce rates dropped by 18%, and it’s expected to continue decreasing with the younger generations. Meanwhile, non-millennial couples over 45 continue to see an increase in divorce.


This is probably the weirdest and most unexpected on this list, but The Washington Post claims that millennials and Gen Z are killing the paper napkin. Younger generations have found that paper towels work just as efficiently as paper napkins, and they’d much rather just buy those.


So mayonnaise has probably never been the favorite condiment out there, but millennials and Gen Z really just aren’t a fan of it. A lot of the hate comes from the unhealthiness of it. The mix of egg yolks, oil, lemon juice, and vinegar doesn’t quite lend itself to the health-centric ideals of younger generations, so millennials and Gen Z stick to organic alternatives like avocados.


Millennials and Gen Z are all about casual clothes and staying frugal, and stilettos provide neither of those things. Those once-adored Louboutin’s or Manolo’s are just no longer considered worth it by younger generations.


Barron’s has found that stocks just aren’t a popular investment strategy amongst millennials and Gen Z. A Bankrate survey found that approximately 13% said they’d be willing to invest in the stock market, and most prefer to invest in real estate, cash, and gold. On the other hand, baby boomers are much more likely to treat stocks as a long-term investment.

Cable Subscriptions

With the rise of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, it’s pretty unsurprising that most members of the millennial and Gen Z generations are cutting the cable cord. With the flexibility that streaming services provide, it’s pretty unlikely that the younger generations will return to cable subscriptions.


The idea of room service, cleaning maids, and lush hotel robes just aren’t appealing to millennials and Gen Z anymore. Younger generations are more interested in “authentic” experiences. Instead, they decide to book AirBnBs and hostels rather than expensive hotels.


Golf has never been a cheap hobby to get into, so millennials and Gen Z just aren’t really getting into it like their parents. Researcher Matt Powell told Business Insider that younger generations just weren’t picking up golf, and baby boomers are aging out of it. This has caused the game to decline.


Millennials are a generation all about health, and Gen Z seems to be pretty health-centric as well. So why are gyms on the decline? The New York Post reported a few years ago that the younger generations prefer specialized studio classes, running clubs, online streaming services, and other non-traditional types of gyms.

Movie Theaters

Theaters have changed over the years with 3D and Imax, recliners, full menus, and reserved seats. However, millennials just aren’t interested. Younger generations are staying away from movie theaters more than any other age group according to The New York Post.

Department Stores

Cult favorites like J.C. Penney, Nordstrom, and Macy’s are all facing significant financial issues thanks to younger generations. With the rise of online shopping that takes out the hassle of shopping, fewer and fewer millennials and Gen Z are choosing to head to department stores. I mean, who wouldn’t like just to buy everything you need right from your couch?

Bar Soap

Millennials hate bar soap, and for a good reason. A MarketWatch report showed that 60% of younger generations believe that soap bars are covered in germs, and they’re much more inconvenient that soap from a dispenser. Meanwhile, the same study has shown only 31% of baby boomers believed the same.

Life Insurance

A 2018 New York Life survey found that 75% of millennials don’t have insurance, simply because they can’t afford it. There are those who know that they need it, of course, but they’re overwhelmed by the idea of sorting through options and deciding on a coverage amount. Here’s a little bit of hope for millennials and younger generations: the younger you are when you get coverage, the cheaper your premiums.


Millennials and Gen Z just don’t really use cash anymore, instead opting to use credit or debit cards to pay for anything. There’s also been a recent rise in phone pay, online shopping, and cash transferring apps, thus eliminating the need for cash even more.


A report on Harley-Davidson motorcycles found that many young millennials and Gen Zers have been showing a dramatically lower interest in riding motorcycles than their predecessors. The cost of buying and maintaining a motorcycle is a lot of the problem, but they also just aren’t seen as cool amongst the younger generations.

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