The 10 Differences Between Baby Boomers And Generation-Y When It Comes To Money

by Reginald Dionisio

Almost all of us are guilty of being envious. We see that someone else has something and automatically want it. Our values change for a split moment, as our minds are wrapped around this fixation. We do a little research and discover that the something we want is only a couple hundred.  We decide, “Eh, it’s just a couple hundred.”  The keyword ‘just’ is the problem when it comes to money spending habits of Generation-Y. This has become a developing problem for our generation that we all engage in, yet don’t notice it.

Here are the 10 differences between Baby Boomers and Generation-Y and the connection between money and material.

1. Generation-Y wears more expensive shoes.

Guys: One pair of Nikes, or Jordans, probably cost more than our dad's whole shoe collection, let alone his only pair of dress shoes and go-to casual shoes. Our "kick game" has to be strong, whereas our dads only care about the comfort level involved in getting from point A to point B.

Ladies: There is usually a different pair of heels for every dress, with a pair of flats occasionally in tow to the club. Gen-Y females might have the same amount of shoes as their mothers do, but the price of one pair of heels could probably pay for a month's worth of gas money. Our generation’s ladies love their different brands, colors, styles and whatever else goes into a pair of heels these days.

2. Gen-Y’ers prefer to have the more expensive car in the garage.

Our parents take pride in the upbringing of their children to be thankful for tangible possessions. We live in a generation of comparison: we compare our material possessions to everyone else’s. As a teenager transitioning into an adult, we are heavily influenced by the first big, cool possession we often get from our parents: a car.

For some Gen-Y’ers today, the first new vehicle is a luxury car, finer than the average sedan their parents drive. It's true that sometimes - maybe always - our parents spoil us, and we don't see the monthly payments they put up for us to live comfortable lifestyles. They pay for our cars and theirs, along with the insurance - just so we can drive something nice on the street with our friend in the passenger seat.

3. Gen-Y’ers tend to be outrageous, while Baby Boomers stay conservative.

Gen-Y’ers refuse to sit home doing nothing. We require satisfaction in so many areas, all requiring using money like we pop Tic Tac mints. We go crazy over our dying cell phones, while on the road to a fun getaway from reality. Our parents love spending peaceful weekends at home, while Generation-Y carries on raging every night.

4. How Generation-Y uses their money greatly differs from how Baby Boomers save theirs.

Generation-Y will spend money on anything just to not be stuck at home; it’s almost like it’s an unconscious act. We can easily spend a day purchasing every meal outside of the house and doing activities in between that - we love to spend money on what we think we need, but these needs have just become strong wants. Our parents hold on to every bit of money and change, getting angered when they receive less change than is accurate at the grocery store - even if it's just 50 cents. Gen-Y’ers spend their money; Baby Boomers save theirs.

5. The price of our ideal meal is the price of a Baby Boomer’s family.

We love to eat out with our friends in big groups at not-so-cheap restaurants in the same way we love to treat a girl we barely know to a fancy dinner. When we eat out with our parents, we don't want the bill to be too expensive, so we don't order that extra appetizer. When we're asked what we would like to drink, we respond with, "Oh, just water please." The price of the bill to feed a family can often amount to the same as it costs for a full day of eating outside of the house.

6. Generation-Y’s shopping sprees are more lavish.

The only time our parents shop is when there is a holiday sale. Other than that, they collect coupons in the mail, and when all those other old school commercial promotions pop up, they can't seem to pass them by. Generation-Y shops like it’s holiday season everyday. E-commerce is a huge bank account killer because we can click and buy whenever, wherever, and it doesn't help that something always seems to be on sale.

Plus, for some odd reason, we are in love with brands that cost the most money, yet look so simple. Our generation also has the ability to shop without actually shopping. We shop on our phones as often as we shop at the mall. It's so simple to type our card numbers into the system and receive gratification in a couple days, without making the trek. A lot of these purchases result from spontaneity and boredom. Our parents would never spend money so frivolously.

7. Gen-Y’ers might have more jewelry than at least one of our parents.

Guys: There is a good chance that a Generation-Y man has at least one gold, silver, or rose gold watch. He's probably also donning some other item of jewelry, yet the only piece of jewelry his dad wears is his wedding ring.

Ladies: Who knows how many rings you ladies have on sometimes? And who knows how many other jewels you have laying around at home that you never wear. Baby Boomer mothers might have jewelry boxes that hold their most prize possessions, but Generation-Y women could fill up a whole dresser.

8. Our definition of a great weekend is the cost of a Baby Boomer’s monthly budget.

We love that Friday paycheck because it means we can finance a trip somewhere for the weekend, or a crazy night in the city. The rack of shots or drinks we bought was a huge amount of money that our parents might have used for a new TV in the living room. Our transportation fees, leading us to those hotel stays, along with additional unnecessary expenses add up to a big grand total that would equal the amount that our parents planned to spend for a month. Yet, we empty out our accounts so quickly in the spur of the moment, just to support that crazy weekend.

9. We view the "Benjamins" differently.

Damn, we love those big bills when we get our hands on them. We are fascinated with the "1 Hunna," or the "1 Hunnid" that we also love to flex with. To us, money signifies power when we lay it out with ease. For Baby Boomers, the Benjamins stay in the bank, rarely seeing the light of day. They rarely pull money from the bank, and when they do, they try to withdraw as little as possible.

10. Money is merely paper to Generation-Y.

To conclude the list above, Gen-Y’ers see money take on different forms everywhere they do. For most of us, it's hard to come by and easy to let go. When we acquire it, we love the thrill of blowing it. We love the feeling of having a pocket full of cash with a huge balance on that account. We have this desire to have the best of anything and everything. We want to live like this forever, yet most of us don't understand the value of hard work.

We don't realize how hard it is to earn that money to use for these things. Our parents have come from an age where everything was cheap. Generation-Y is actively experiencing an ever-changing era that's creating billionaires through ways never seen before. Everything in our generation is enhanced; we always want more, and our downfall is that mentality. We are the generation to be foolish about money coming easily. When we have it, it's simply paper.

Our parents look at their funds and envision the countless hours of time and work they put into producing the bacon to support their family's lifestyle. We are the generation roaring in our young age and turning up our twenties. There is much more growth to occur, and we will eventually learn from this coming and going of money and material.  Hopefully, in that process, we will learn to budget our money as our parents do.