HELP! ‘We’re Ad­dicted To The Luxe Life’

With ‘ex­tracur­ric­u­lar’ mil­len­nial spend­ing on the rise, some of us are tak­ing it to the next ‘spe­cial’ level

Look (UK) - - LIFE -

Right now, half the Look team are stuck be­tween our very own ver­sion of a rock and a hard place – that is, feeling like we’ve been hit by a rock (oth­er­wise known as our monthly bank state­ment) but at the same time lust­ing over Zara’s New In sec­tion. New stud­ies show that we’re not alone. While mil­len­ni­als are still fig­ur­ing out how to make ends meet (ris­ing rents, no in­crease in wages, etc) the way we spend our money is rad­i­cally chang­ing.

For ex­am­ple, a re­cent US study re­vealed that last year 44 per cent of mil­len­ni­als spent more on cof­fee than they put into sav­ings, while marketing ex­pert Pam Danziger cites mil­len­ni­als as the ‘most pow­er­ful con­sumer group on the planet’ who will be­come the largest spend­ing group by 2035. That’s be­cause ap­par­ently, as we know we won’t be able to af­ford a house, it means we’ll in­stead splash out on VIP holidays or treat our­selves to a Gucci Disco bag. In fact, marketing com­pany Min­tel says that we’re re­defin­ing lux­ury – it now means trav­el­ling by Uber or hav­ing restau­rant-stan­dard food de­liv­ered to your door. But are these habits bad for us – and are they ad­dic­tive?

‘Yes,’ says Clau­dia Ham­mond, BBC Ra­dio 4 pre­sen­ter and au­thor of Mind

Over Money. ‘The process of buy­ing treats makes us feel as though we’re cher­ish­ing our­selves. We like that feeling and be­come ac­cus­tomed to it.’

Samantha Clarke, 25, a buyer from London, agrees. ‘I love treat­ing my­self,’ she ad­mits, ‘and I love a mas­sage. My habit crept up to one a week. At first, £65 per ses­sion seemed a lot, but I quickly be­came ad­dicted to the lux­ury of it – I felt like I de­served one af­ter a hard work­ing day. But the more I had, the more nor­mal it be­came and I’ve been spend­ing around £250 per month ever since.’

It’s the same for Lau­ren Fitch, 27, a nurse from Northamp­ton, who ad­mits her city-break habit has seen her fall into debt in the past five years.

‘Trips away are my ul­ti­mate lux­ury,’ she says. ‘Af­ter my break-up two years ago, I booked a spon­ta­neous break to Berlin to visit a friend and it was the best hol­i­day of my life. Now I’m ad­dicted to the buzz. I get a lot of time off be­tween shifts as well as an­nual leave and I can’t stand hav­ing noth­ing to look forward to. I al­ways have at least one hol­i­day booked and one planned, and I ac­tu­ally feel anx­ious if my di­ary looks too empty. I know that’s ridicu­lous, but I can’t help it.’

It’s some­thing ex­perts at­tribute to mil­len­ni­als’ love for ex­pe­ri­ences over any­thing else.

‘Although typ­i­cally this de­mo­graphic has less dis­pos­able in­come, the de­sire to seek out new ex­pe­ri­ences for the main pur­pose of fill­ing their so­cial me­dia feeds is be­com­ing the big­gest trend, which can mean liv­ing the “per­fect” life by any means or con­se­quence,’ says so­cial me­dia mar­keter Ben Nan­cholas.

‘It wasn’t just the feeling of spend­ing the money,’ ad­mits Samantha. ‘It was the whole ex­pe­ri­ence – see­ing the women each week, go­ing home for a nice, re­lax­ing din­ner. It be­came a rit­ual. My house­mates would tease me about it, but re­ally they were quite con­cerned about how much money I was spend­ing.’

And for Lau­ren it was what drove her into debt. ‘Last year, I got a new credit card and started putting more and more trips onto it. Then I would just ig­nore the state­ments. I ac­cu­mu­lated £5,000 in three months. It was only when my mum opened my bank state­ment that I got the wake-up call I needed and re­alised I had to slow down. I was so con­cerned about mak­ing sure I al­ways had a new place to tell peo­ple about, about be­ing that per­fect per­son, that I lost my head a bit.’

Lau­ren’s now paid back most of her bill, but it’s a warn­ing to oth­ers how easy it is to be sucked into liv­ing a lifestyle you can’t af­ford.

‘Pay in ad­vance for ex­pe­ri­ences,’ sug­gests Clau­dia. ‘You’ll en­joy them more if they’re di­vorced from the pain of pay­ing. Also, use a bud­get­ing app to work out what your small pur­chases are adding up to – you might be sur­prised.’

Think your De­liv­eroo habit might be get­ting out of hand? We can help…

‘I’ll take one in every colour. Could you get me an Uber while you’re at it? And a De­liv­eroo?’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.