Spending Power Makes Gen Y Powerful Now


Many discussions on Gen Y (or Millennials, as they are sometimes called), are focused on the demographic’s preference for speed, convenience and the latest and greatest technology. However, a new report from Nationwide suggests we should be paying attention to this important group for yet another reason — its collective spending power.

Nationwide’s report found college students, in particular, have an average income of $1,200 a month. The report also found these up-and-comers are using plastic to make their purchases; 84 percent of undergrads have at least one credit card to cover both educational and discretionary purchases. These findings suggest undergrads have more than $417 billion in spending power, and they are using it.

Financial institutions (FIs) would do well to take note of these statistics now. Often when we talk about Gen Y, we talk about them in the context of the future. Yet these studies show the future is now. With significant spending power, this demographic has the potential to impact the financial industry today. That’s why it’s so important for credit unions and community banks to make sure marketing strategies, as well as products and services, are evolving to keep up with the needs and wants of younger customers.

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