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Eat, sleep, save, repeat: Millennials, money, and the opportunity for banks

Money through the eyes of the Next Generation

Millennials represent a generational shift in valuable customer segments for financial institutions. This cohort is set to receive much of the estimated $224 billion AUD in inheritance that will be passed down by the previous generation every year until 20501. The distribution of this money is significant, as a large portion of the personal savings and investments within the Australian economy will be handed over to the next generation. In this article, we examine a few of the characteristics that make millennials distinct and highlight the opportunity for banks to see the world through a millennial's viewpoint and deliver the experience accordingly.

Once touted as the technologically-savvy, iPhone-using, ‘me generation’, millennials today are older than commonly assumed. Born 1981 to 1996, and aged between 27 and 42, this group comprises approximately 20% of the population in Australia2.

While there has been no shortage of commentary on millennials over the past decade, most of this content focused on millennials as a young segment.

Common portrayals of this generation in years gone by have depicted extravagant spending, a culture of ‘YOLO’ and an inability to attain the great Australian housing dream owing to an appetite for avocado toast.

Yet, as they continue to mature, millennials have proved these depictions to be largely incorrect, with distinct behaviours and spending habits developed in response to new macroeconomic and cultural challenges. Being on the precipice of an intergenerational wealth transfer, millennials are a critical segment to understand and win.


  1. Australian Government Productivity Commission 2021, Wealth Transfers and their Economic Effects, Research paper
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2022, “Back in my day” – comparing Millennials with earlier generations, ABS, accessed 17 July 2023

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