whatever you want and spend your way to a better life.
The items they purchased made their lives more comfortable and provided a tangible reward for their hard work.
Throughout the second part of the 20th century this model worked well and success was measured in bigger houses, flashier cars, newer watches and the increasing number of possessions owned.
However, the 21st century has witnessed a shift away from the goals set by the babyboomers of wanting ever more.
What is becoming more apparent is that the consumerist system doesn’t have the same hold over the younger generations as it did their parents and grandparents.
Younger generations are rejecting the idea of working long hours that eat into their free time just so they have more money to spend on things they don’t need. They don’t measure their success on expensive possessions.
They have heeded warnings from the past, they have looked at the lifestyles of the generations before them and realised it’s not for them. They don’t want to miss out on living in order to buy the latest watch.
There is a subtle shift in the mindset of younger generations. They are growing up with the primary goal of doing what they love, seeing the world and experiencing life. These are all the ideals that minimalists aspire to.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the younger generations have reached a minimalist utopia, consumerism is a hard cycle to break free from and the lack of spending from younger generations could simply be a reflection of the fact they have less stable jobs and less money.
But for evidence of the change in mindset I would point to companies now offering flexible work hours that keep their workforce happy, offices that have chill-out spaces and games rooms, and even four-day weeks that allow people to pursue their hobbies and dreams on their day off.
As the millennials are growing up, they are creating companies they would want to work in, they are creating lives that are focused on experience, and when it comes to following the babyboomers down the consumerist path, they are saying: thanks, but no thanks.