Report paints picture of how millennials spend their cash


MISSOULA, Mont. - A report from Level Money, a company that makes a finance-tracking application for mobile phones, gives a glimpse at what millennials spend their money on when it comes to vices like coffee, beer and fast food. The company's app allows customers to link their payment cards to the tracker, and the company compiled data anonymously taken from the first half of 2014. Millennials (folks aged 18-35) make up the vast majority of the app's user base. According to the study, Montana millennials ranked No. 14 out of all 50 states when it comes to money spent on alcohol. "[People] drink a lot of beer in this town and I'm not surprised by that at all," said Montana resident David Bolser. "I'm not entirely surprised about that being a thing, because alcohol is a prevalent substance," said Montana resident Danny Smith. The study claims Montana millennials are some of the lowest fast-food spenders in the country, ranking 46. According to the report, only 12 percent of the group buys fast food more than once a week.

"It's kind of surprising to me because I see a lot of people getting fast food all the time," said Montana resident Matthew Roberts. "I expect they eat a lot of homegrown products, and Montana is a great agricultural state," said Al Maunier, who grew up in Montana. "It's a really good thing, actually, and I am kind of surprised, but I think that's definitely going to help out in the long run," said Montana resident Paul Carlson-Thompson. Montana millennials ranked 39 when it comes to spending at coffee merchants. "That does kind of surprise me because I feel like the coffee shops here are always super busy," said Carlson-Thompson. "If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you're not going to spend a lot of time at Starbucks," said Maunier. One University of Montana economist points out it's important to note the study's limits. It only draws information from users of the smartphone app, and it can't track cash transactions. "People link to their credit cards and their bank accounts and then they analyze the data of the people that use their app," said economist Bryce Ward. The study does give a bit of an insight into how a specific population of Montanans are spending money using their debit and credit cards. To read the study, click here.