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Report Shows Significant Generational Attitudes About Finances and Spending

Uncovering Gen Z: What Makes the Youngest Generation Tick

Our new Q2 2023 Consumer Pulse Study shows a stark contrast in consumers’ mindsets. While nearly 80% reported inflation as one of their top concerns, and a third of those consumers believed a recession will occur by the end of 2023, 6 in 10 (57%) Americans reported optimism about their household finances for the next 12 months — the highest level in 6 quarters. A prevalent theme emerged from the survey: Optimism is highest among younger generations.

Younger consumers were less concerned about inflation, having expressed their incomes are keeping up. Nearly 70% of Millennials and 65% of Gen Z expected their incomes to rise in the next year compared to 46% of Gen X and 27% of Baby Boomers.

Financial optimism

When asked about their household finances over the next 12 months: Gen Z (73%) and Millennials (69%) were most optimistic about their finances compared to Gen X (51%) and Baby Boomers (41%).  

Younger generations also varied from older consumers on discretionary spending; 19% of Gen Z and 22% of Millennials increased spending compared to only 11% of Gen X and just 6% of Baby Boomers. 

The generational gap

Millennials and Gen Z now make up the majority of the US population. They also have spending power. Gen Z's earnings are set to hit $33 trillion by 2030 and account for more than a quarter of all global income. By 2031, the youngest generation will surpass Millennials' spending power.

How retailers can use the data 

The research reveals actionable consumer insights your business can leverage to create meaningful connections with your ideal audiences. It’s important to know what resonates with younger generations. What works for Gen Z might not work with Gen X because they’re at different points in life and headed in different directions with different financial and purchasing priorities. To win their interest, business and continued loyalty, you need a deeper understanding of consumers.

This is where segmentation comes into play. By integrating both internal and external identity-based consumer data into a robust segmentation framework, you can segment individuals using attributes like age, purchase history, shopping preferences, household economics, marital status and more. This will help you achieve a clearer understanding of your ideal customer, reveal their needs and channel preferences, and identify areas of opportunity. You’ll be better equipped to tailor your messaging and offers to your most desirable segments — and reach them on their preferred channels. 

Segmentation can help you: 

  • Identify and model higher potential customers based on unique, business-specific data 

  • Grow and optimize relationships by working from a holistic view of consumers

  • Create a more personalized customer experience across multiple channels and touchpoints with tailored messaging and offers

  • Drive improved marketing, sales performance and operational efficiency

Put TransUnion to work for your business 

We can help you build audience segments that leverage the 3,400 data attributes in our database, as well as information covering 99% of US adults and 120 million US households.

Learn more about TransUnion solutions for Retail, CPG and Durable Consumer Goods.

Learn more about TransUnion TruAudience marketing solutions.

Do you have questions? Our team is ready to help.