Money Matters Team

The generation game

By Money Matters Team 29/03/2018

The generation game

Age is but a number, or so we’re lead to believe. But how much does when we’re born affect our attitude and behaviour? We’ve examined how the financial habits of different generations compare, with some fascinating findings. First though, let’s take a look at the generations:

Baby Boomers

This is the generation of people born after the Second World War. Although there’s not a strict agreement on precise birth dates for this generation, Baby Boomers are generally considered to be those born between the mid-1940s and early to mid-1960s.

Baby Boomers have seen and been responsible for exciting changes and events in society. The older members of this generation were the movers and shakers of the Swinging Sixties; a decade that saw Beatlemania sweep the globe, the first colour TV pictures being broadcast in the UK, the introduction of credit cards and the first men on the moon.

Generation X

Generation X is those born between the mid-1960s and the very end of the 1970s. Sometimes called the MTV generation, they grew up in an era when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, and are credited with having a work hard play hard attitude.

They take their name from the title of a novel by Canadian author Douglas Coupland, and our research found that they research purchases thoroughly - an approach that flies in the face of their characterisation as slackers.


Born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s, Millennials were the first generation to come of age in the new millennium. They are digital natives, the first to use Facebook and a generation that expects to always be connected. A study by KPMG found a key difference in attitudes between Millennials and Generation X towards work-life balance; Gen X hoped for it, Millennials demand it.

Our research shows their behaviour towards finances matches this. Their time outside of work is spent enjoying themselves; a high percentage of their disposable is used for socialising and eating out. 

As you can see below, there are plenty more differences in the attitudes towards saving and spending between the generations.

We’ll see more change in the near future too, with a drop in buying things with cash and an increase in spending using other methods. Perhaps even more exciting change is around the corner as Generation Z comes of age?

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