Gen Y budgeting savings

Turns out Gen Y smash their savings targets just as well as their avocado

18 Jan, 2018

Despite Gen Y facing greater financial stress and savings challenges than other generations, young Australians are showing a strong commitment to saving more.

Supposedly flippant spending habits have seen them dubbed the ‘smashed avocado generation’, but new studies show that Gen Y might actually be more frugal than they are given credit for.’s annual Christmas Spending Survey found that it’s young Aussies who are most committed to saving in the coming year.

Of the 800 people surveyed, 52% of those aged 18-24 said they intended to save more in 2018. In the 45-64 age bracket, however, only 16% showed the same commitment.

When it comes to Christmas spending, 68% of 18-34 year-olds said they saved up during the year so they didn’t feel such a pinch come December. Only 24% of 35-44 year-olds and 19% of 45-65 year-olds said they did the same.


Realistic about the future

Will Keall, National marketing manager at, believes young people are reacting to the financial challenges facing them.

“The smashed avocado segment, as they’re referred to … that’s an unfair generalisation because they are focused on saving,” Mr Keall said.

“From last year’s survey to this year, wherever there’s a change, it’s to do with people saving more and spending less.”

House prices, energy prices and other bills are all on the rise, and interest rates are expected to increase in 2018. But savvy Millennials are doing what they can to prepare for this future by budgeting and saving.

“There has been inflation across the board, the costs of living have increased and property prices are off the scale,” Mr Keall said.

“People have bigger commitments to mortgage repayments and something’s got to give. When interest rates go up it will change the goalposts even further.”

Eliane Miles, social researcher at McCrindle, says part of the reason Millennials are feeling the pressure is that they are more financially aware than previous generations.

“One study found the top financial regret for all generations was not saving enough, but Millennials topped all with 42 per cent, compared to 38 per cent for Gen X and 28 for Baby Boomers,” she said.

“Another showed 36 per cent of Millennials considered themselves extremely financially stressed and 87 per cent somewhat financially stressed, compared to just 13 per cent of Baby Boomers.”

Meanwhile, ABS figures show that 25-34 year-olds are the only 10-year age bracket whose income has reduced in the past two years. Household income has been flat across the board since 2009.

“House price growth has doubled wages over the last 10 years and young people feel locked out of the market,” Ms Miles said.

She also commented on the added pressure created by social media. What people post online is often far from their reality, but these sugar-coated profiles leave others feeling left behind and always lacking.

Many Gen-Y-ers are getting creative in a bid to stay ahead with their savings and investments. If you’re in need of some extra income, it doesn’t mean you have to take on a second job. Platforms like eBay, Etsy and Airtasker all provide opportunities for people to earn cash on the side in a variety of different ways.

For others, more frugal living means buying second hand where possible or having a night in rather than a night out.

Wherever you find yourself financially right now, the Monefly app can help you track your financial goals and analyse your spending – smashed avocados and all.


In short

  • More 18-24 year-olds (Gen Y) plan to save in 2018 than any other age group.
  • Younger Aussies are also more likely to save throughout the year for their Christmas spending.
  • With living costs rising faster than wages, Gen Y are doing what they can to prepare for a financially challenging future.
  • Generating extra income or cutting back on expenses can free up more cash for investing and saving.
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