Millennials Make 2015 the Year of the Milestone

Moving past recession and diving into new jobs, new homes and new rides

February 02, 2015 08:15 AM Eastern Standard Time NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–It’s been widely reported that for many Millennials, “30 is the new 20,” with many delaying major life milestones, like full-time employment, marriage and having children.

However, recent data from the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker suggests that as the economy continues to recover, Millennials will make 2015 a year of major purchases and life experiences. “Now, with an improving economy, the country’s 80 million Millennials say they will be wielding their wallets, a trend that will create an interesting new dynamic for retailers.”

View/download the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker

With the generation becoming a little older and perhaps wiser, Millennials, defined as young adults age 18-34, say they’re more likely than older generations to experience major life milestones in 2015 (56% vs. 33% Gen X, 20% Baby Boomers) and make a big ticket purchase, like a new home or car (59% vs. 43% Gen X, 34% Baby Boomers)

“For the last several years, we’ve heard a great deal about Millennials being held back by the recession," said David Rabkin, Senior Vice President of Consumer Lending Products, American Express. “Now, with an improving economy, the country’s 80 million Millennials say they will be wielding their wallets, a trend that will create an interesting new dynamic for retailers.”

This year, Millennials are more likely than their older counterparts to:

2015 Milestone/Purchase         Millennials         Gen X         Baby Boomers

Take a leisure trip                           75%                68%                59%

Buy a car                                        33%                27%                17%

Start a new job                                27%               18%                 8%

Buy a house, apartment or condo   25%               11%                  6%

Move to a new place                       23%               10%                 10%

the country’s 80 million Millennials say they will be wielding their wallets

Major household appliance             22%                21%                14%

Get married                                      5%                  2%                   2%

Consumers Stash Less in the Savings Account, More in the Shoebox

For Americans of all generations, 2015 may be a good year, with more consumers feeling optimistic about their future finances (43% vs. 40% in 2014, 35% in 2012). Saving money still remains the top New Year’s resolution (58% vs. 33% in 2013), but the average amount Americans plan to save is slightly down from last year ($11,292 vs. $12,464 in 2014).

With savings goals slightly down, consumers will look to a variety of ways to get there:

  • Save from primary income (52%, on par with 2014)
  • Save tax returns (26%, on par with 2014)
  • Pare back on little luxuries, such as morning lattes and manicures (23% vs. 21% in 2014)
  • Deductions from paycheck (21% vs. 18% in 2014)
  • Selling unwanted possessions online (20% vs. 18% in 2014)

A majority consumers say they’ll keep their savings at a local bank (57% vs. 55% in 2014) but more than half of those who keep their savings in cash plan to hide bills in a secret location at home (53%).


About the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker
The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker research was completed online among a random sample of 1,820 adults, including the general U.S. population, as well as an affluent demographic defined by a minimum annual household income of $100,000, and those with leisure travel plans. Interviewing was conducted by Ebiquity between January 5 and 8, 2015.

The results reported have an overall margin of error of +/- 2.3 (overall) and +/- 2.7 (leisure travelers) at the 95 percent level of confidence. About American Express American Express (NYSE:AXP) is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on,,,, and

Key links to products and services: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, business travel, and corporate card. About Ebiquity, Plc. Ebiquity are independent marketing performance specialists. Ebiquity enables brands across the world to make better informed decisions to improve their brand and business performance across integrated communications channels. Learn more at