According to an Eventbrite nationwide research of Millennials, they currently command about $1.3 trillion annually in consumer spending. This generation values experiences over ownership, which means they’re very selective with the things they choose to spend money on.

More than three quarters of Millennials (78% to be precise) would rather spend money on experiences or events over buying something desirable, and 55% of them are spending more than ever before on experiences.

Almost seven out of ten Millennials also suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out), so it’s quite safe to assume they’re not planning on changing their lifestyle anytime soon – quite the contrary.

Experiences Are Expensive, So Millennials Skimp on Living

Traveling, live concerts, gourmet meals and festivals cost money. It’s interesting to see what expenses Millennials are cutting in order to afford those experiences. As the cost of living is a major expense in everyone’s budget, young Millennials are saving money in that area.

One way to go is renting small apartments or sharing an apartment with roommates. Another way, very popular among Millennials, is to move back in with their parents. In fact, according to the already-mentioned research, 22% or 24 million of the people between 18 and 34 years of age in the US are now living in multi-generational homes.

Millennials are also digital nomads, taking extended trips and working from anywhere there is an Internet connection. During these intervals, they stop paying rent back in the US. It certainly makes economic sense if you want to visit several countries in, say, Europe or Asia.

Instead of taking many trips away from home every year, paying both for multiple plane tickets and your rent, by staying away as a nomad you could make do with fewer flights and far less expenses back home, all the while still getting some work done.

Self-storage as a Home Extension for Millennials

These living situations have a common denominator: very little storage space. Living with roommates or parents, or traveling the world, means you probably need a place to store some of your belongings.

For Millennials, that place could be a self-storage unit, which provides both convenience and affordability. A self-storage unit in New York City sets you back, on average, $174 per month, according to Yardi Matrix. It’s convenient when compared with how much it would cost to rent an apartment. Affordable and easy to use, and you can get your stuff back any time you need it – self-storage units truly fit the Millennial lifestyle philosophy like a glove.

According to a Self-Storage Association study, 14% of all Millennials are already renting a self-storage unit, compared with 11% of Gen X and 7% of Boomers. They also access the self-storage units quite often, with 20% visiting their unit several times per week, and are very interested in having access to their stuff 24/7. 61% of Millennials who rent self-storage say that anytime access to the unit is the most important feature for them.

Overall, Millennials are the most demanding generation when it comes to self-storage amenities. They really want it all: controlled humidity (51% of Millennial customers), pest control (57.7%),  flexible contracts (52.8%), flexible means of payment (51.3%), discount rates for long-term contracts (50.9%), fire sprinklers (47.2%), tools for loading and unloading (46%), security guards (44.7%), and facility website (54.3%).

Are you one of the Millennials? What are you looking for in your self-storage unit? Let us know in the comments!


Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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