Success. Previously imagined as big houses, fancy cars and branded clothing is now being seen as too frivolous to some, with more and more people beginning to value experiences over material possessions. The ‘less is more’ concept is changing how people are living in the 21st century. Also known as minimalism, the concept highlights how having only the essential things is better than having lots of superfluous items.
Individuals, particularly millennials, are realising that the more items you own, the more they’ll have to spend to maintain them. Unforseen costs such as maintenance, storage, repairs and replacements can easily build up, costing the individual more out of their savings, than was originally expected. As a result, people are now viewing item ownership as more of a burden as opposed to a benefit.
In 2019, Marie Kondo, became famous around the globe for her decluttering and minimalistic consulting business, encouraging others to only keep items that spark joy. The process included analysing each item you own, and only keeping them if they truly make you happy. Thousands around the world discarded clothes, books, and other miscellaneous items while finding dedicated places for the remaining items.
So why are millenials choosing to spend less, and how will it affect the future?
Awareness of environmental issues: Millennials are socially conscious consumers and by far one of the most concerned generations when it comes to environmental sustainability. With the huge amount of information readily available, millennials are now acutely aware of issues such climate change, rising sea levels, extreme weather patterns, the extinction of many animal species and more importantly the impact their actions have on their current and future environments.In order to protect the Earth, their buying habits are significantly altered as they make a conscious decision to own and purchase less or purchase primarily from sustainable sources.
Subscription Economy: Defined as individuals paying a monthly fee in order to have access to a range of products or services. This is not an entirely new concept, with most individuals most likely making a recurring payment for a combination of newspapers, music streaming, movie streaming or cloud storage, the subscription economy has shaped the last decade. Popular services such as Netflix and Spotify are great examples where no physical items are owned, yet people are still able to enjoy movies and music. With the availability of these platforms, where access is available readily without ownership, having these items has never been less necessary.
Preferences of Experiences rather than Possessions: Minimalism is not the end of spending, but it has influenced a shift in what money is being spent on. The transfer of money will always take place, however, individuals are now giving much more consideration to the true value of their material purchases and if their money would be better spent elsewhere. Although we have seen a decrease in possessions, consumers are spending more on wellness, food, drink and experiences.
Rise in technology: Millennials grew up surrounded with technology, particularly the internet. Compared to previous generations, the world seems smaller and everyone is more connected. Work is being completed from the home or from a coffee shop and virtual collaboration has become the new norm. Individuals are realising that having the opportunity to be mobile as opposed to being tied down with ownership of items and property, is a large advantage which they are hesitant to sacrifice.
Living Preferences: Compared to previous generations, millenials are choosing to live in urban settings, and if required will happily pay more to live there. Retailers are relying on people to move out of the city, owning bigger homes with more things. However, younger generations are migrating towards apartments, with shared amenities, as consumer consumption slowly decreases.
Every day, more and more people are realising that having possessions can unintentionally tie you down. Minimalism is going to become the new normal. One of the most daunting purchases besides buying a house is purchasing a new car, but is this even necessary in today’s climate? Using a car subscription service like Carly, puts the freedom back into having a car without being tied down by the purchase price. Just choose from our range of cars, pay a weekly cost and use it for however long you like. We’ll take care of all the unexpected and extra costs you would have usually faced when owning a car, such as registration, insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance. There are no lock-in contracts involved and you can switch car models once a month, depending on your needs. A car subscription with Carly makes accessing a car fast, simple and convenient, and allows you the flexibility to only pay for a car when you require one.