Nothing can make my palms sweat more than considering the realities of my monthly expenses. The last time I really tracked my everyday spending over the course of a month, the amount that went toward trivial things like smoothies, burritos, and glitzy skincare products was more than I cared to confront. But it definitely made me wonder what other millennials spend money on in general. Like, does everyone else responsibly puts money toward their 401k, while I'm over here shelling out cash for sheet masks and extra guac like I'm made of money?
As it turns out, I'm not the only one who spends extra cash on daily lifestyle needs and wants, and what millennials seem to really be spending their paychecks on these days on is fitness. That's right folks, it appears that our generation is all about the sweat.
According to a recent study from the British sports and nutrition company Myprotein, UK millennials spend an average of £155 (about $220.06) per month on health and fitness. This comes out to about £112,000 ($159,012.00) in their entire lifetime, and with the cost of four-year public education coming in at about £98,440 in the UK ($139,889.15), that technically means they're shelling out more for wellness and fitness than their college degrees.
The study participants' fitness and wellness expenses included things like gym memberships, supplements, nutrition plans, and workout clothes.
So yes, for some British millennials, this might mean that, over time, they're spending more on fitness than on a college education. But does this financial trend translate to American millennials, too?
While it's worth nothing that, on average, higher education in the UK is generally less expensive than the wide range of U.S. college tuition, American millennials are also regularly shelling out big bucks to keep their healthy lifestyles in check, and much more so than older generations before them. According to a 2017 survey by CreditCards.com, Americans are spending about $19 billion dollars a year on gym memberships, but the results found that it was, indeed, millennials who consistently spent the most in this area.
About 36 percent of millennials (considered, in this survey, to be between the ages of 18 and 36) paid for gym memberships, which was double the amount of older generations.
But that number doesn't even account for the other kinds of specialty classes millennials will drop big bucks for, like cycling, yoga, or special membership services like ClassPass. It's these boutique workout classes that are making major strides in the fitness industry and are, indeed, what American millennials are really willing to invest in, it seems.
Greg Skloot, vice president for growth at Netpulse, a company based in San Francisco that develops smartphone apps for health clubs, has done financial research in this area, and he told the Los Angeles Times that fitness is a priority that seems to be trumping just about everything for younger generations. He pointed out that when it comes to millennials, spending money on lifestyle items like cars and homes are at an all-time low. Skloot added,
They don't want an annual gym membership commitment and a contract. They want to be able to make physical fitness choices on demand, and they are willing to pay for it.
And while this example may be somewhat extreme, and not necessarily representative of all millennials, 26-year-old NYC-based brand communications specialist Carrie Morris told the blog Moneyish that she spends around $500 a month on cycling and boxing classes. Morris told the blog she believes it is well worth the expense, as it significantly helps her well-being and health, and she apparently couldn't imagine cutting back on the amount she spends, despite the high numbers.
It all kind of makes sense, no? I could never tout the mental and physical benefits of a regular fitness practice enough, and lord knows I'm one to enjoy a good boutique fitness class. But remember, friends, it does not have to cost the price of a house, or a college education, to stay healthy. Exercise is simply movement, whether it's a walk around the block, or a dance session in your room. Whatever you choose, just keep gettin' sweaty!