The Value of the Dollar
I recently was shopping at a local convenience store, and I started to browse the gum and candy positioned at the front counter. I went to grab a pack of gum—nothing too fancy, just a standard minty gum—and I was disappointed to discover that I couldn’t even buy a single pack of gum with a dollar.
This encounter made me wonder: What can I actually buy with a dollar?
Unfortunately, you can’t buy much these days with a lone dollar bill in your pocket unless you are shopping at the dollar store. However, this forced me to question how many people my age actually shop at the dollar store. In fact, a newly published article by Forbes notes that 29% of millennials shopping at dollar stores come from households making $100,000 or more per year.
So why are millennials from affluent households choosing to shop at the dollar store?
According to Forbes, this statistic marks a shift in millennials’ priorities. Millennials are spending less on essential items in exchange for saving money for food and travel. Researchers are finding that millennials love to spend their money on experience-whether that may be traveling or going out for morning coffee with friends—and value cultural, personal, and social opportunities.
Nowadays, millennials shopping at dollar stores are not simply shopping at these retailers for the sake of frugality. Instead, most millennials are facing student debt and are looking for alternative ways to save money while maintaining a lifestyle conducive to their needs and desires.
Even swapping a few items on your list from a major retailer to a dollar store will save you money in the long run. For example, purchasing your toothpaste, gum, and drinks from a dollar store instead of a large retailer will save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
So before writing off the dollar store as lame, childish, or strange, plan a small shopping trip. Keeping an open mind will keep your wallet closed.