Millennials may not be spending money the same way our parents and grandparents had in the past, but in many ways, that's a good thing.
The generations who came before have not always demonstrated the greatest economic prudence. After all, young Americans didn't get the country into $19 trillion of national debt. However, when it comes to telling millennials how we should handle our finances, many are quick to self-righteously critique our decisions and hand out unstinting advice.
Millionaire Tim Gurner recently criticized his fellow millennials for their "lavish" spending habits on the Australian version of 60 Minutes. When asked why he thinks young people are not buying homes at the same rate as older generations, Gurner responded:
"When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn't buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each."
Gurner's decision to bypass weekend brunch with his peers is completely fine, but so is the decision not to buy a home.
The Freedom to Choose
Human beings are complex individuals with unique circumstances and experiences
True, "brunch culture" has been a huge trend with millennials, who are more than willing to drop their hard earned money on breakfast items at kitschy local restaurants. But their desire to spend cash on French toast doesn't make them financially irresponsible; it's simply a manifestation of preference.
Without the freedom to spend the fruits of our labor wherever we so choose, we cannot consider ourselves truly free. While theft by taxation is unavoidable unless one is willing to risk spending time behind bars, we are still able to choose what we do with the money the government "benevolently" lets us keep.
Human beings are complex individuals with unique circumstances and experiences dictating our decision-making processes. For some, buying a home may be a priority and even an important rite of passage, ushering them into real adulthood.
For others, especially those who came of age during the 2008 housing crisis, buying a home is not a priority because they have seen their parents, family members, and neighbors suffer great financial losses in the wake of the Great Recession.