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4 ways coronavirus has changed millennials’ and Gen Z’s spending habits

From contact-free food deliveries to online shopping, the coronavirus might be changing millennials’ spending habits more than any other generation’s.

Excerpt via Business Insider

Here, four ways the coronavirus is affecting millennials’ financial behavior.

1. Millennials are cutting back on spending

While all generations are concerned about the financial effects of the coronavirus, “millennials’ behavior is changing more dramatically than any other generation”, Greg Petro, CEO of retail analytics company First Insight, told CNBC. “They are going to cut their spending.”

More than half (54 per cent) of US millennials surveyed said the coronavirus has impacted their purchasing decisions – more than any other generation, according to a First Insight survey published on February 28. It’s caused 40 per cent of millennials to say they’re cutting back on spending in preparation for the spread of coronavirus.

2. When millennials do shop, they’re doing it online

Millennials are also cutting back on in-person shopping trips – 39 per cent said they’re shopping less frequently in stores, compared to 30 per cent of overall respondents, reported Thomas, citing the First Insight survey. And 30 per cent said they’re shopping more frequently online instead, compared to 21 per cent of respondents across all age ranges. includes online grocery shopping, which has seen an uptick in demand thanks to coronavirus.

3. And they’re taking advantage of delivery apps and services more than ever

Thirty per cent of millennial respondents in the First Insight survey also said they’re taking advantage of kerbside pickup.

Coronavirus has spurred the rise of no-contact food delivery, Hilary Russ reported for Reuters. Instead, delivery drivers are leaving meals on doorsteps and consumers are texting their drivers pictures of where they want their food dropped off, she wrote. US-based delivery apps Postmates and DoorDash are both rolling out contactless delivery options.

However, as the coronavirus spreads, worries over contaminated food and a scarcity of drivers in the event of a quarantine could put delivery app usage on the decline, Sibile Marcellus reported for Yahoo.

4. Millennials are more likely to turn to other sources for help paying for coronavirus treatment costs

Nearly half of insured Americans think they can’t fford to get sick with coronavirus, according to a and YouGov poll. But younger people are more concerned about paying for coronavirus treatment and testing than older people.

Of those aged 18 to 34, 35% are not confident they could deal with costs compared to 24% of those aged 55 and older, according to additional poll data from

That might explain why respondents between age 18 and 34 are five times more likely than those who are 55 and older (24% versus 4%) to borrow money from family members to pay for coronavirus costs. They’re also more likely to put costs on their credit card, but only by three percentage points more.


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