Speed Reads

It's tough out here for a millennial

Millennials aren't spending because they're broke, reports the Fed

Millennials have been accused of ruining a lot of things: Sitcoms, cruises, department stores, cars, and more. While some of the blame may be warranted, a new study from the Federal Reserve suggests it's not totally their fault.

The study, titled "Are Millennials Different?," explores the economic wellbeing of the generation. It found that millennials' spending habits aren't necessarily the issue, but the fact that they have no money to spend, reports NPR. Aside from the common refrain that millennials merely prefer to spend money on "experiences, not things," the demographic simply can't afford the conspicuous consumption of generations past.

The study considers millennials to be those born between 1981 and 1997, and explains that they have "paid a price" for transitioning into adulthood during the Great Recession. Not only did they face historically weak labor demand, reports NPR, but they also struggled through tight credit conditions.

Statistically, millennials are far less financially stable than earlier generations when they were the same ages. They have lower incomes, more debt, fewer assets, and less wealth.

These financial obstacles have shaped the millennial attitude towards saving and spending, the study reports, causing them to be more economically conservative than previous generations that were "more established in their careers and lives at that time." Read more at NPR.