Millennials Making More Happen With Less [Chart]
Recent survey sheds light on millennial spending habits
The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.
Despite the Western world’s general shift towards healthier eating, it may surprise you to learn that McDonald’s shares traded at all-time highs just days ago.
How is this possible?
Part of the reason is that although millennials will tell you otherwise, the name of the game for courting many millennials is still convenience. Price points at a restaurant such as McDonald’s still have wide appeal to a cash-strapped generation.
Based on a recent survey by TD Bank, the convenience trend is still on track. Here’s what we learned on millennial spending habits from the results.
Getting More out of Less
A major finding of the survey was that although millennials “go out” twice as often as Generation X and three times as often as Baby Boomers, they spend less per month on purchases than their older cohorts.
Millennials made more purchases on retail goods and dining than other generations, but spent less money overall. In fact, the only category where Millennials spent more than Gen X and Boomers is on coffee and fast food – demonstrating a need for food on the run and frequent doses of caffeine.
The average millennial went out 13 times each month, spending $103 for an average of $7.90 per transaction. This compares with nine trips with $122 of spend ($17 per transaction) for the average consumer.
The same was the case for grabbing “coffee and food on-the-go”, where millennials said that they went on more trips than the average consumer. Millennials also spent a higher total than others, spending $80 over 11 trips (compared with $67 over eight for the average consumer).
Experiences vs. Material Items
While the survey paints a picture of millennial thriftiness, we also think that there is another lens that can be used to shed light on the results. In particular, we believe this shows that the value that millennials place on having experiences.
To many millennials, “going out” is as much about the experience as the material food itself. Whether it is connecting with old friends at a new thin-crust pizzeria or trying a locally-roasted single-origin coffee with a significant other, it’s often more about sharing an experience with good company. It doesn’t have to be a fancy dinner or involve a $100 bottle of wine purchase to count as quality time.
This could be a partial reason behind a higher frequency of trips out, even though less money gets spent overall.
Cash vs. Credit
A final point of interest from the survey lies in the difference in how millennials make discretionary purchases.
On average, Americans spend $4,700 per year with a credit card, and $2,400 with cash, a debit card and checks for discretionary purchases. Millennials tend to use cash, a debit card and checks more often ($5,200) and charge 22% less ($3,300) than the average consumer
Millennials, many of whom grew up during the Financial Crisis, are more averse to debt. This is corroborated by the results of a different survey showing that seven out of 10 millennials say they would prefer to use a debit card, rather than a credit card, for their purchases.
It’s also an attitude that we’ve covered in a previous chart of the week, where we showed that only 37% of millennials were confident in managing their credit, while 70% of millennials hold their savings and investments in cash.
Mapped: Federal Tax Paid Per Capita Across Canada
We show which provinces and territories pay the most and least tax after adjusting for the number of tax filers in each jurisdiction.
Mapped: Federal Tax Paid Per Capita Across Canada
Which parts of Canada pay the most personal tax? In 2021, according to the latest available data, people in Ontario paid by far the greatest share: 42% of the total. Of course, Ontario is also the most populated province.
But if we look at which parts of the country paid the most and least taxes on a per capita basis, the picture looks different. In this graphic from Fidelity Investments, we show the amount paid per tax filer for each province and territory.
A Breakdown of Tax Per Person
We took the total personal federal tax paid in each province according to 2021 tax filing data from the Canada Revenue Agency. We then divided the total tax paid by the number of people filing taxes in the province. Below, we rank the provinces and territories from least to most taxes on this basis.
|Province or Territory
|Federal Tax Paid Per Person
|Prince Edward Island
|Newfoundland and Labrador
|All of Canada
All of Canada is calculated as the total federal taxes paid in Canada divided by the total number of tax filers in Canada.
New Brunswick paid the least taxes on a per capita basis. Within the province, 13% of people worked in retail jobs, the highest proportion nationally. Retail positions in New Brunswick earned $34,000 annually on average. As a whole, 71% of people in New Brunswick earned less than $49,000 per year.
The Highest Taxes Per Capita
The Northwest Territories (NWT) paid the most taxes relative to the number of tax filers. Public administration workers made up nearly a quarter of tax filers, four times the national share of 6%. These workers, which include local, provincial, federal, and aboriginal government employees, had an average annual income of $120,000 in the NWT.
Additionally, the territory also had a relatively high proportion of people working in mining, who earned $221,000 a year on average.
However, it’s important to note that the NWT faces a high cost of living. On average, households in the capital city of Yellowknife paid 28% more for food and 47% more for shelter than the average Canadian household in 2021.
On a per person basis, Ontario paid the third highest taxes in Canada. The province had the highest proportion of finance and insurance workers, who earned $106,000 annually.
Reducing Your Taxes
Generally, a higher income leads to higher taxes. However, you can explore allowable deductions such as RRSP contributions to save more of your money.
Use Fidelity’s income tax calculator to quickly estimate your taxes.
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