Millennials, low earners spend more on lottery tickets and other financial vices

Individuals who earn less than $30,000 per year are more likely to spend money on vices such as alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets and other forms of gambling, according to personal finance resource Bankrate.

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The U.S. adults who admitted to feeding into these vices also paid a disproportionate amount of their annual income when compared to adults who earned more.

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Excluding the respondents who said they don’t spend money on vices at all, the study found that the lowest earners are expending more than any other income bracket -- with 11 percent of annual income going to alcohol, 13 percent going to tobacco or e-cigarette products, 13 percent going to lottery tickets and 4 percent going to gambling.

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“It’s important for all adults, not just lower earners, to take stock of their spending habits and make sure that their priorities are in the right place,” said Amanda Dixon, a Bankrate analyst.

“Get in the routine of monitoring your finances each month, so that you can catch bad habits early and stay on track.  A little discipline can go a long way when you’re trying to achieve financial success.”

Bankrate also found that age and gender were two “strong indicators” that informed the study.

When it comes down to which generation is most susceptible to each vice, Millennials between the ages of 23 and 38 were the highest spenders with $1,741 going to alcohol, $2,498 going to tobacco and $976 going to lottery tickets annually.

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Conversely, Baby Boomers between the ages of 55 and 73 were most susceptible to gambling out of all the generations. According to the study, Baby Boomers gamble $2,913 per year.

Averaging out the results of the study across generations, Bankrate found that Millennials spent over $1,000 more than Gen X and Baby Boomers when the four vice categories were combined.

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Across gender lines, men spend twice the amount women do for both lottery tickets and gambling. Men also spend more on alcohol, but the difference is not as drastic.

Surprisingly, women who smoke tobacco or vape e-cigarettes beat out men by a slight margin.

However, men spend more than double on average than women on these four financial vices. When combined, Bankrate found that men spent $3,205 annually versus women who spent $1,670.

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Bankrate commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the consumer survey, which used a total sample size of 2,377 adults who went on the record to share their household income.