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Two-thirds of US Millennials say they are somewhat or very concerned about their personal finances and plan to make drastic cuts across spending categories, according to a recent study by youth-research firm TRU, which gauged the near-term buying intentions of 12- to 29-year-olds in the current recession.

Among the full sample of 1,300 respondents, those in their 20s (71%) express the most apprehension, while those ages 12-15 (44%) – most likely sheltered by their parents – are the least bothered by the failing economy, TRU said.

The study also asked teens and twenty-somethings whether they anticipate spending more, less or the same on a variety of categories over the next year. In no category do Millennials expect to spend more, while the majority of teens and young adults expect to spend less on electronics and technology (57%), going out to eat (55%), snacks (51%), and entertainment (50%). Only in categories where spending is generally compulsory (such as housing, transportation, groceries, and paying off debt) do Millennials anticipate spending the same over the next 12 months.

Most of the anticipated cost cuts indicate Millennials are hunkering down and embracing an increasingly “cocooned” lifestyle, the survey finds. Seven out of 10 teens and twenty-somethings expect to eat more home-cooked meals; two-thirds plan to eat less fast food; and more than half (53%) say they will stay home more.

The unprecedented economic circumstances have convinced many Millennials to adjust their lifestyles even more radically. More than one-fourth of twenty-somethings, for example, would consider getting a second job, and one-fifth would shop at more thrift stores (such as Salvation Army, Goodwill), the research found.

“If there’s one thing the recession has proven, it’s that everyone’s a casualty,” said Blair Fischer, TRU senior trends manager. “Gone are the days of reckless spending among young consumers. They’re still willing to open their wallets, but only if what they’re paying for has legitimate value.”

About the study: The findings are based upon TRU’s just-released “3rd Wave” study, which polled a nationally representative sample of more than 1,300 teens and twenty-somethings across the US. TRU is a TNS company.

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