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Cash is king for the younger generation at Christmas

20 December 2016

Cash is king for the younger generation at Christmas

Ellie Fixter,
Senior Content and PR Manager,

With Christmas just around the corner, not many are exempt from the universal habit of overspending at this time of year and budgeting is absolutely key to remaining in control of your finances. The latest ATM research from VocaLink’s Card Transaction Services (CTS) business shows however, that it is the younger generation that are the most savvy when it comes to budgeting at this time of year.

With 79% of all ATM users surveyed preferring to use cash to cards when going out to a bar, pub or a club and 62% agreeing that using cash helps them to budget in this scenario, it is the 18-25’s, who carry the most with them, an average of £57.

Christmas parties, presents for family, friends and the office Secret Santa, new outfits and hair revamps, the month of December is without a doubt, costly. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the under 25s are seeking new ways to manage their outgoings. They carry nearly 70 per cent more cash than 25-54 year olds, showing the heightened importance of budgeting for the younger generation.

This pattern isn’t just evident in the UK, according to VocaLink’s global research, The Millennial Influence, other European millennials have a similar approach to the use of cash. In Germany, for every day consumption such as groceries, snacks, lunches, entertainment and dining out, they actually prefer to use cash: 70% of them pay for groceries with cash vs. 61% by card, and 79% pay for everyday eating and drinking out by cash, with just 27% using credit or debit cards. Italian millennials also prefer to use cash, with 64% using it for every day eating/drinking vs. 52% on card.

Sara Parker, Product Director, CTS at VocaLink commented: “The downside to this festive time of year is that we all get carried away with spending, with it impacting the younger generation more than other age groups and they can end up in dire straits before Christmas even arrives. However, it is clear from our latest research that the young are savvy. The physicality of handing over cash, seems to be far more of a deterrent when it comes to spending money. It is a solution, to what can be a rather large problem, particularly at this time of year, that the younger generation have tapped into.”

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