10 Millennial Spending Confessions You Can Definitely Relate To

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
By Tiffany Teng

Weeknight Seamless dinners, a top-shelf Equinox membership, a spontaneous trip to Portland or Austin or San Francisco... When it comes to your hard-earned paycheck, what’s your guilty spending pleasure? Of the Millennials we surveyed, about 95% listed food, drinks, clothes, or travel as their money vice (which all sound pretty reasonable to us!). Read on to hear 10 millennial spending confessions, and see which one you relate to the most.

1. Vice: Festivals
“During my first year in San Francisco, I felt broke all the time. I was obsessed with saving money just to feel safe. This year, I felt much safer financially and I started having a lot of fun — expensive fun. I bought four pairs of Argentine tango heels, $100-$200 each, and attended five tango festivals, $200-$500 each. I have been to four music festivals in the last year — including one in Stockholm — and I’m looking forward to my next music festival in two weeks.” - Audrey, 23, San Francisco

2. Vice: Boutique Fitness
“I help manage financials for a large portfolio at work and know where every dollar of that goes — but ironically, I’m terrible at managing my own finances. Basically, I generally know how much I’m spending, and then check Mint every few months. Most of my money is spent on rent, food, and drinks, but my guilty pleasure is Refine Method, a fitness studio in NYC that costs several hundred every month.” - Angela, 26, Hoboken, NJ

Related: Levo’s 2015 Entry-Level Salary Report

3. Vice: Designer Handbags
“Like so many other people my age, I graduated with student loans. At the same time, I’ve developed major wanderlust and am starting to choose quality over quantity when shopping — a.k.a., I’m shamelessly in love with designer purses. I have a plan for my debt, so honestly I just need to suck it up and not get Starbucks every day.” - Joanna, 24, Morris County, NJ
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
4. Vice: Clubs
“I spend way more than I should — especially when going out. My many weaknesses include concerts, drinks, drinks, drinks, covers (for clubs), and Uber. I just can’t help it!” - Michael, 24, Washington, D.C.

5. Vice: Varies
“I love to spend on clothing, food, shoes, and events, like shows in New York, the beach, and going out. Another guilty pleasure is lipstick shades!” - Eden, 24, Roebling, NJ

6. Vice: Dinners Out
“I work for a startup, bartend on the weekends, and I still live at home with my parents. I try to live off of the money I make bartending and save all of my startup paycheck, but that isn’t always the case. I’m lucky that I don’t have too many large expenses. My biggest spend is on gas and train tickets, as well as going out to eat. My weakness is going out to nice restaurants and bars with friends.” - Jessica, 24, Chicago

7. Vice: My Business.
“I cofounded a music and travel blog called Willow Wood Music, and my guilty pleasure is spending most of my money on making it work — but I’m having such a great time.” - Nicola, 26, London

Related: 11 Millennial Savings Account Confessions

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
8. Vice: Exercise Gear & Online Shopping
“I’m fresh out of graduate school and working for a mature startup in Boston. I save pennies by taking costs out of line items (i.e., cheaper flight, slightly cheaper hotel, less expensive brand of clothing) but my weaknesses are gym clothes (hello, Lululemon!), SoulCycle, and full cable TV. I also shop aggressively online and will drop a $1,000 and return $900 of it, though my price point is more around Zara, Madewell, and Bloomingdale’s versus luxury designers.

I will, however, take the time to call or visit the store for a price adjustment, which makes no sense if the whole point of shopping online is to save the trip. I think I get it from my mom, who does this practically as a sport.” - Kim, 29, Boston

9. Vice: Working Hard & Playing Hard
“As a software developer in Florida, my spending habits vary month to month. A lot of my expenses go into software development and upgrading old hardware to ‘future-proof’ minimally what I can. However, about 20% of my take-home pay goes towards going out, and I tend to go out six nights a week.” - Alan, 24, Florida

10. Vice: Good Food
“I look at it this way: I never was able to visit a lot of insanely fancy restaurants when I was younger because my parents were responsible with money and hardworking. Now that I’m on my own and making a steady salary, I’m exploring all of the things I never experienced before. I started going to fancier restaurants and appreciating dining — so I only go to great restaurants, or else I’ll just cook at home. It’s better than going to Chipotle every day and spending $10 on moderate food. I also read how spending money on experiences is better than material things, so I’m trying to do that more, and it’s been a major change to my personal well-being.” -Melissa, 24, Brooklyn, NY

Next: 7 Money Mistakes to Avoid in Your 20s