Survey reveals the spending habits of millennials (spoiler: they like coffee and eating out)

New research from LendEDU shows that 27% of Millennials dole out more money paying for coffee monthly than they save for retirement in that same time period. But while 37% of Millennials admitted to putting no money away each month for their Golden Years, the average one who does, saves $480 a month for retirement using a “401(k), savings account, or another method.”

As for how the research was carried out, Pollfish surveyed 1,000 American Millennials (ages 22 to 37) for the company. 

RELATED: Check out the retailers with the best return policies:

Retailers with extremely generous return policies
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Retailers with extremely generous return policies


Costco has one of the most generous return policies of any store. Any product can be returned to Costco warehouses for any reason. The only restrictions are on electronics, which must be returned within 90 days.

(REUTERS/Molly Riley)


Ikea gives customers a 365-day return window for a full refund unless the product in question is a mattress, which can only be exchanged once.

Given that a year is a long time to hold onto a receipt, the store can also help you out by searching for an order using your credit- or debit-card number.

(REUTERS/Max Rossi)


L.L.Bean previously offered an almost unbelievably generous return policy - customers could bring back any items bought at L.L.Bean if they felt it didn't live up to their expectations. The guarantee covered the item's full lifetime.

In February, the store reduced the return window to one year, which is still considerably better than a lot of stores.

(Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)


REI also used to offer a no-questions-asked return policy where customers could return used items for cash. The return window has now been reduced to one year, but customers are still able to trial the products during that time.

Outdoor products have to be returned within 90 days.



Mattress startup Casper offers a 100-day window to trial its mattresses. The best part of the return policy is that it imposes no hassle on the customer. The company will come and collect the product from your home and donate it to a charity.

(Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Casper Sleep Inc.)


Athleta has its own return policy that far outshines its sister companies Gap and Old Navy.

Customers here are given the chance to work out in products, and if they don't like them, they can return them anytime after.

(Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's will give a full refund on its private-label products.

"If a customer purchases a product and is dissatisfied with the purchase, we encourage them to return the product to the store in exchange for a full refund," a spokesperson for the company told Business Insider.



Nordstrom doesn't have a return policy, per se. Each return is settled on a case-by-case basis, and there are no time limits on when you can return a product.

(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)


Kohl's will take back any item at any time. Customers can make returns in-store or via mail. If you lose the receipt but paid with a store card or credit card, they can look up your order directly.


CVS beauty products

CVS will take back any beauty product purchase, even if it's opened, no questions asked. It has the same policy in place for CVS/pharmacy brand products.



"All merchandise — with the exception of Unlimited Furniture Delivery items — may be returned at any time by mail or to our stores in the US and Canada," the retailer writes online.

Anthropologie's furniture has to be returned within 30 days of the date of delivery.

(Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)

Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer is so confident that customers will be pleased with its products, that it offers anunconditional lifetime return policy.

The concept was created by its founder many years ago and has stuck to this day.

(REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File)

Bed Bath & Beyond

Provided it's within a year, you don't even need a receipt to return products at Bed Bath & Beyond. The store will track down your item using credit-card details or order numbers.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)


Online shoe store Zappos gives its customers plenty of time to make a decision. Its return policy allows customers to get a full refund within 365 days, providing the product has not been worn and is still in its original packaging.



To prevent customers from draining a tube of foundation in a month and then trying to return it in-store, Sephora stipulates that returns must be in "new or gently used condition."

You can get a full refund on your card if you return the item within 60 days, and if it reaches up to 90 days, then you can get a refund in store credit.


Land's End

Land's End's return policy is as good as it gets. You can return any item at any time, provided you have the receipt.

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)


Macy's has toughened up its return policy recently. What was a 365-day return window has been cut down to 180 days, which still gives customers ample time to get a refund if they so choose.

There's one exception to the rule: the department store does not allow customers to return products from its "Last Act" clearance sections beyond 30 days.


Bath & Body Works

Bath & Body Works has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

"We just want you to love it," the company writes on Facebook. You can return or exchange any of its products at any time.

(Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)


How much Millennials spend monthly, versus saving for retirement

Keeping the monthly retirement savings average of $480 in mind, let’s take a look at how much Millennials’ monthly expenses reportedly compare to that amount:

Coffee: $38/month

  • 27% spend more on this monthly than they save for retirement
  • 27% spend nothing on this item

Alcohol: $75/month

  • 27% spend more on this monthly than they save for retirement
  • 32% spend nothing on this item

Marijuana: $39/month

  • 11% spend more on this monthly than they save for retirement
  • 75% spend nothing on this item

Restaurants: $163/month

  • 49% spend more on these monthly than they save for retirement
  • 6% spend nothing on this

Groceries: $281/month

  • 65% spend more on these monthly than they save for retirement
  • 3% say they spend nothing on this

Online streaming services: $18/month

  • 26% spend more on these monthly than they save for retirement
  • 26% spend nothing on this

Concerts, sports and more: $49/month

  • 15% spend more on these monthly than they save for retirement
  • 54% spend nothing on these activities

Tobacco, vaporizer, or JUUL products: $43/month

  • 17% spend more on these monthly than they save for retirement
  • 63% spend nothing on this

New clothing: $82/month

  • 32% spend more on these monthly than they save for retirement
  • 21% spend nothing on these

Music streaming services: $7/month

  • 12% spend more on these monthly than they save for retirement
  • 61% spend nothing on this

Working out: $23/month

  • 11% spend more on this monthly than they save for retirement
  • 60% spend nothing on this

“Retirement is something I mildly obsess over because I understand my generation might not have access to social security. I prefer to put money in my 401(k) versus setting it aside in a separate retirement savings account because then I don’t have to think about saving versus spending – it takes away the decision and forces me to save,” Bridget Devine, a PR manager in her twenties, told LendEDU. Devine says she puts 14% of the money she earns from working into her 401(k).

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