Many Costs Of Making Statements

Even if you don’t consider yourself someone who cares much about image, your actions probably say otherwise. So many of our choices, as consumers and communicators, influence perceptions of us. There are obvious examples—spending money on fancy watches, joining the tiny house movement—and there are less obvious examples. Maybe, to keep a polished look, you get your hair cut frequently. Maybe you sip coffee from an NPR mug. In both cases, you’re making a statement.

Millennials, in particular, are known for actively shaping their personal images. And for this highly image-conscious and expressive generation, there’s often a price associated with the expression. Below, we examine some of the many costs of making statements.


It’s no secret millennials love tattoos, as pure an example of expression as you’ll find. Forty percent of Americans who have tattoos are millennials. And tattoos aren’t cheap either. With most tattoo artists charging around $150 per hour, a half-sleeve design, requiring six to eight hours of work, would run about $1,300 before tips.

The goal isn’t necessarily to be showy, though. Millennials might splurge on Beats by Dre headphones, a Patagonia T-shirt, or a jersey of their favorite sports team, but they aren’t known for lavish, luxury purchases. The statement car for this generation is the Dodge Charger, which comes in at less than $30,000.

Millennials proudly express their religious beliefs. The market for hijabs, for instance, is growing so much that top fashion designers are getting into the game. Other religious symbols, like Christian crosses and Buddhist mala bracelets, are also popular among millennial consumers.

Younger Americans prefer to spend money on experiences over material goods. They’re willing to budget for a great vacation, for example. Also, rather than getting caught up in an expensive mortgage, some have shunned the idea of owning a large home, or a small home, and gone all the way to “tiny.” Tiny homes cost an average of just $23,000 to build, and there are now approximately 10,000 in the United States.

Finally, the millennial generation doesn’t always live up to its reputation of being self-centered. Despite many millennials being early in their careers, and not exactly flush with cash, many are willing to give to causes that matter to them. On average, millennials donate nearly $500 to charity annually. Many also express themselves, and show support for causes, using social media. And this practice, of course, is free!