Skip to main content
Back to Press & News
Survey March 26, 2024

Modern consumers favor convenience and social media hype when spending

A young Asian woman in blue jeans sitting on the bed in a yoga pose in front of a laptop. Online shopping with her phone and credit card.

New Bread Financial study finds consumers spending extra on convenience and trending social media products while turning a blind eye to certain elements of their finances.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – March 26, 2024 – Bread Financial™ (NYSE: BFH), a tech-forward financial services company that provides simple, flexible payment, lending, and saving solutions, today released its annual findings¹ from a national study examining consumers' financial “secrets” and efforts they’re making to enhance their financial wellness.

The survey found 51% of respondents said they were intentionally ignoring at least one element of their finances, such as their credit score (20%), credit card debt (18%), and bank account balance (15%). Of those intentionally ignoring something about their finances, nearly half (48%) claim they did so for their overall mental well-being. Among generations, Millennials exhibited the highest response rate (53%) when it came to prioritizing mental health over financial concerns. 

Cash Clash: Men Splurge, Women Save
The survey discovered that among those who admit to spending on guilty pleasures, men (12%) were twice as likely as women (6%) to spend more than $250 a month on these indulgences. Men were also more than likely (29%) to spend that much on online gambling (sports betting etc.) as women (13%), and similarly more likely (35%) to spend too much on lottery/scratch offs compared to women (23%). 

Doing it For the Plot 
Gen Z is making purchases to keep up with trends they see online, with 62% admitting they'd purchased popular or even viral items, compared to just 16% of Baby Boomers. In fact, 38% of Gen Z admitted to buying a viral product like the Stanley water bottle just so they could post it online. 

Social media influences purchase decisions for almost 8 in 10 respondents (79%) who are making guilty-pleasure purchases, with the top platforms impacting purchase decisions being Youtube (47%), Facebook (44%), Instagram (41%) and TikTok (39%). Gen Z is the outlier to this, with a substantial 68% of respondents saying TikTok had influenced their guilty pleasure spending purchases. 

Taking matters into their own hands
Loud budgeting isn’t going anywhere, especially for Gen Z and Millennials. They are the noisiest when it comes to sharing budgeting tips with friends and family (34% each), compared to Gen X (25%) and Baby Boomers (18%). Gen Z and Millennials don’t just speak up; they’ve been taking matters into their own hands to stick to their budgets, such as proactively requesting to pay for only the things they ordered at a group dinner (28% and 24%, respectively).  

The survey also found younger generations are focused on financial wellness. Gen Z (83%) and Millennials (84%) were the most likely to have taken action to improve their financial wellness in the past year, compared to 72% of Boomers. Top actions for financial wellness across generations included setting up autopay for bills (25%), downloading a cashback/coupon app (24%) or starting an emergency fund for unexpected expenses (23%). 

“We’re seeing a growing consumer focus on enhancing financial well-being, especially among Gen Z and Millennials,” said Nick Antonelli, SVP and chief marketing officer at Bread Financial. “Our data shows consumers are increasingly mindful about spending intentionally, while still trying to shake some bad tendencies such as ignoring finances altogether or shopping just to keep up with the trends.”

Wallet Weary: The Price of Procrastination and Convenience
Two-thirds (65%) of respondents admitted they currently or in the past have started a free trial for an app/subscription with the intent to use it only for the free trial and then forgotten to cancel it. Among the top of these subscriptions ranked streaming services (31%), Amazon Prime (22%) and gym memberships (16%). 

Consumers are spending extra on convenience, with more than half (52%) saying they’ve ordered food delivery because they were feeling lazy. This is especially true for younger generations with 70% of Gen Z and 68% of Millennials saying they had done the same versus only 24% of Boomers. 

Generational ‘Guilty Pleasures’
Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to spend on self-care (49% and 42% respectively) compared to older generations like Boomers (18%). Millennials also spend on guilty pleasures like subscription services (e.g., entertainment, clothing, fitness) (45%) or lottery tickets and scratch offs (35%) while 32% of Boomers say they don’t spend on any guilty pleasures.

¹ A sample of 1,737 U.S. consumers participated in this study conducted by Bread Financial through an online quantitative survey that took place between February 20, 2024 and February 22, 2024.

About Bread Financial™

Bread Financial™ (NYSE: BFH) is a tech-forward financial services company providing simple, personalized payment, lending and saving solutions. The company creates opportunities for its customers and partners through digitally enabled choices that offer ease, empowerment, financial flexibility and exceptional customer experiences. Driven by a digital-first approach, data insights and white-label technology, Bread Financial delivers growth for its partners through a comprehensive suite of payment solutions that includes private label and co-brand credit cards and Bread Pay™ buy now, pay later products. Bread Financial also offers direct-to-consumer products that give customers more access, choice and freedom through its branded Bread Cashback American Express® Credit Card and Bread Savings™ products.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Bread Financial is powered by its approximately 7,000+ global associates and is committed to sustainable business practices. To learn more about Bread Financial, visit or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter/X and Instagram.