80 million strong, millennials considered 'the cheapest generation'

Published: Monday, Oct. 1 2012 12:10 p.m. MDT

In this April 4, 2012, file photo, Scott Richards of Saint Anselm College looks over possible jobs during a career fair for college students in Manchester, N.H.

Jim Cole, Associated Press

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The generation that is soon to be the largest is also the cheapest, as millennials are struggling with everything from home ownership to student debt, according to the National Chamber Foundation.

But what is causing all the frugality?

The upwards of 80 million born between 1980 and 1999 tend to be more educated, which tends to influence spending and saving habits, according to the Chamber Foundation.

Harsh economic conditions have led many millennials to put off home ownership, marriage and saving for retirement.

New technologies, like smartphones, open channels for sharing.

“Shared goods are also gradually assuming validity because a growing community is living out some portion of their lives behind the walled worlds of social media, gradually growing more comfortable with technologies that replace physical divides with digital ones,” said Michael Hendrix, research manager at the Chamber Foundation, in the post.

By 2030, millennials will outnumber all other generations by 22 million, according to the Chamber Foundation.

"I hate spending money," Eric Richardson, a student at Utah State University, told the Deseret News. "It doesn't matter how much money I have in my bank account, I just won't spend it. I'm scared to death to take out student loans."

He and his friend Tyson Lloyd lived in a tent during the fall of 2011 in order to avoid housing costs while attending college in Logan.

The two men used on-campus showers and free lockers to store food and clothes and kept a schedule of events that serve free food on campus, all in the name of debt aversion and saving a penny.

An August 2011 study from New York-based Auriemma Consulting Group said millennials are the most averse toward credit cards. Only 26 percent say they frequently carry a balance, an 18 percent decrease from 2007, the study said.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

TWITTER: @joeyferguson

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