Andrew sent another study my direction that I thought I'd post to see if it sparks any level of discussion. It was commissioned by GQ magazine and was designed to compare the spending habits of Generation Xers with the spending habits of our Boomer fathers. Some of the more interesting findings:
According to the study, Xers are 80% more likely to buy items that are stylish and reflect their lifestyle.
I wonder what has caused that. Is it that our fathers were raised by Depression survivors and were taught to save as much as possible? Is it because they became men in a time period where you owned a few suits and mixed and matched shirts, ties and accessories and didn't need to spend as much on their appearance? Or is it that we are just significantly more vain when it comes to how we look?
I suspect that any and all of the reasons listed could play a part. Our fathers also grew up in a time where there were three television networks so they didn't have access to everything hip and cool from around the world whenever they wanted it. And the advertising industry probably wasn't quite as influential (in terms of popular culture, style, etc.) as it is today.
At the same time, a lot of it has to do with the notion that our generation is terrible with money. How many mortgages do you have on your home? Ask your parents how many they had. Our wants seem to be bigger and our desire to spend our money and live in the moment also appears to be higher. Not suggesting that either generation is right or wrong just an observation that we are different.
As I'm at the top end of Generation X, I do treat myself to indulgences when it comes to my hobbies of golf, guitar, cigars, etc. But most of my disposable income is now spent on my daughter. I miss the days where I could spend what I wanted on whatever it was that I wanted but I think I'd miss what I have today even more.
But, as I mentioned earlier, I'm interested in any thoughts you might have. If you have an opionion, please post a comment. I'm sure there are several of us who'd be interested.
This post was written as part of the Carnival of Modern Man.