8 Ways Boomers Saved Money That Millennials Ignore

8 Ways Boomers Saved Money That Millennials Ignore

In an era where financial habits are rapidly evolving, it’s intriguing how the Baby Boomers, a generation known for their thrifty ways and wise money management, navigated their finances. This contrast becomes especially stark when held up against the spending tendencies of Millennials, a demographic often characterized by a different set of priorities and financial challenges.

This article explains eight notable strategies Boomers use to save money – practices that seem to have fallen by the wayside in the Millennial era yet hold significant potential for reviving a sense of financial prudence and smart saving in today’s world.

Eight Baby Boomer Money-Saving Tips

Here are some common ways the Baby Boomer generation saved money that most Millennials often overlook:

  1. Cooking at Home: Baby Boomers tend to cook more meals at home, saving money than frequent dining out or ordering in, which is more common among Millennials.
  2. Manual Tasking: Boomers often do DIY tasks like essential car maintenance or home repairs, whereas Millennials might hire professionals.
  3. Less Technology Dependence: Boomers spent less on technology and subscription services, given their lesser prevalence back then.
  4. Saving Consistently: Boomers often practiced more consistent saving, even in small amounts, which compounded over time.
  5. Using Public Transportation: Boomers were more likely to use public transport, whereas Millennials might prefer the convenience of rideshares or owning a car.
  6. Avoiding Fast Fashion: Baby Boomers invested in quality, long-lasting clothing rather than the fast fashion trends popular among Millennials.
  7. Prioritizing Home Ownership: Boomers often aimed to buy starter homes when they were young to start a family and build equity, whereas Millennials may delay or avoid this step.
  8. Avoiding Small, Daily Expenses: The classic example is the daily coffee; Boomers might see this as an unnecessary expense, whereas it’s more normalized in Millennial spending habits. Boomers also tend to pack their lunch from home versus buying a lunch out.

These are just the general trends from one generation versus another, and individual habits can vary greatly, but these are great financial habits to consider from a previous generation.

Embracing Home-Cooked Meals

Baby Boomers were known for their preference for home-cooked meals, a significant area where they saved money compared to Millennials. Cooking at home, rather than frequently dining out, ordering takeaways, or meal delivery, is cost-effective and tends to be healthier.

For example, a family dinner prepared at home can cost a fraction of the same meal at a restaurant. Beyond the savings, home cooking provides a platform for family bonding and passing down traditional recipes. It’s a habit that fosters both financial prudence and personal wellness.

The DIY Approach in Everyday Life

The Boomers’ era was marked by a solid do-it-yourself (DIY) ethos. Unlike many Millennials who often resort to hiring professionals for tasks like essential car maintenance or minor home repairs, Boomers tended to take on these tasks themselves.

This DIY approach extended beyond repairs to gardening or home improvements. For those not naturally handy, starting with simple tasks and learning through resources like DIY books or online tutorials can lead to significant savings and a sense of accomplishment.

Minimal Technology and Subscription Expenses

One of the most significant differences in spending between Boomers and Millennials lies in technology and subscriptions. Boomers spent considerably less on technology, given its lesser prevalence and necessity.

In contrast, many Millennials regularly upgrade gadgets and subscribe to multiple streaming services. Significant savings can be achieved by evaluating the necessity of each tech expense and minimizing unnecessary subscriptions, a practice that was inherently part of the Boomer lifestyle.

The Art of Consistent Saving

Even in small amounts, regular saving was a hallmark of the Boomer generation’s financial strategy. The concept of “paying yourself first” by setting aside a portion of each paycheck for savings was widely practiced.

This habit, though it might seem trivial with small monthly amounts, can lead to substantial savings over time due to the power of compound interest. Millennials can benefit from adopting this consistent saving habit, perhaps utilizing modern tools like automatic savings apps or employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Utilizing Public Transportation

The Boomers were more inclined to use public transportation, especially in cities, unlike many Millennials who prefer the convenience of rideshares or owning a personal vehicle. Public transit offers a more economical and environmentally friendly alternative to individual car ownership, especially in urban areas.

This choice saves money on expenses like fuel, maintenance, and insurance and reduces the individual carbon footprint, aligning with a more sustainable lifestyle.

Choosing Quality Over Fast Fashion

In an era where fast fashion dominates the millennial wardrobe, Baby Boomers often preferred to invest in quality, long-lasting clothing. Although potentially more expensive upfront, this approach leads to long-term savings as these clothes don’t need to be replaced as frequently.

Avoiding the lure of fast fashion and trendy, disposable clothing can save significant amounts of money and positively reduce clothing expenses and waste.

Prioritizing Home Ownership Early

Unlike Millennials, who often delay home ownership, Boomers generally aim to buy homes early in life. Investing in a starter home allowed them to start building equity sooner, usually leading to better financial stability in the long run.

While the current real estate market may pose challenges, the principle of viewing homeownership as a priority investment remains a potentially wise financial move for Millennials. The key is to start small and buy the home you can afford.

Cutting Out Small Daily Luxuries

Baby Boomers were typically more mindful of small, daily expenditures that Millennials often overlook. The classic example is the daily coffee shop visit. By brewing coffee at home or packing lunch instead of buying it out, Boomers saved considerable amounts over time. These small savings can add up to a significant amount, teaching a valuable lesson in minimizing small daily luxury expenses.

Key Takeaways

  • Opting for Cooking at Home: Shifting from restaurant meals to preparing food at home for economic efficiency and health advantages.
  • Embracing Self-Sufficiency in Routine Tasks: Favoring self-reliance for essential repairs and tasks over professional services, building practical skills and cost savings.
  • Reduced Reliance on Tech and Digital Subscriptions: Limiting expenses on gadgets and online subscription services, embodying a frugal digital lifestyle.
  • Adherence to Regular Financial Contributions: Establishing a habit of constant, modest deposits into savings, appreciating the gradual but significant growth over time.
  • Preference for Mass Transit: Choosing public transportation over personal vehicles or ride-hailing services for economic and environmental benefits.
  • Investing in Durable Apparel: Prioritizing quality and longevity in clothing over transient fashion trends, resulting in prolonged use and waste reduction.
  • Early Investment in Real Estate: Committing to homeownership at a younger age to build equity and enhance fiscal stability.
  • Mindfulness in Daily Spending: Recognizing and cutting back on everyday indulgences, understanding the cumulative impact of small savings.


These insights from the Baby Boomer generation offer timeless relevance. These practices underscore a philosophy of mindfulness in expenditure, valuing self-reliance, and foresight in investment and savings that transcend generational boundaries.

While each generation faces its unique economic challenges and opportunities, the financial wisdom of the Baby Boomers provides valuable lessons. Millennials can enhance their financial well-being by embracing these timeless money-saving strategies. These practices from the past can significantly influence a more financially secure future.

By integrating these approaches, younger people can navigate the complex terrain of personal finance with more financial intelligence. The wisdom encapsulated in Baby Boomers ‘ money-saving habits guides millennials to be more financially resilient and conscious about their financial future.