It’s Not Avocado Toast Draining the Pockets of Millennials, It’s Subscription Services

Nearly 1 in 10 millennials spend at least $200 per month on subscription services

It’s Not Avocado Toast Draining the Pockets of Millennials, It’s Subscription Services

Do you have Netflix? Spotify Premium? One of those personal styling services? Chances are the total cost of your monthly subscriptions is eating a hole in your pocket—maybe even a hole the size of a brand new car.

Our survey of U.S. millennials found that nearly 1 in 10 spend at least $200 per month on subscription services.

This is What $200 in Monthly Subscriptions Services Looks Like:

We took the average cost of popular subscription services, from entertainment to beauty, and added them up. And boy, do they add up! The total cost of these monthly subscriptions is just about $200 per month.

Total Costs of Popular Monthly Subscriptions:

Average Gym Membership - $45
YouTube TV - $35
StitchFix (or other styling service) - $25
HBO Now - $15
Audible Membership - $14.95
Netflix (4K plan) - $11.99
Hulu - $11.99
Birchbox (for women or men) - $10
Spotify - $9.99
Apple Music - $9.99
Starz - $8.99
iCloud storage (200GB) - $2.99

How the cost of your monthly subscription services could buy you a car:

It may be hard to believe, but for the price of these monthly subscription services you could be driving a brand new car. Using our auto loan calculator and making some basic assumptions about down payment, loan term and interest rate, we determined that the price point for a car payment of $200 a month is just under $14,000.

Here are four brand new cars you can buy for $200 per month (or $14,000):

2017 Ford Fiesta
  • $13,660 MSRP
  • 31/41 MPG

Toyota Corollas are, unfortunately, too high for our price point but if you're in the market for a cheaper, four-door car a little on the smaller side then look no further than the Ford Fiesta. It's very small but has soft suspension, is lightweight, gets great gas mileage and shifting is easy with its manual transmission.

2017 Chevrolet Spark
  • $13,000 MSRP
  • 30/38 MPG

Also in the cheap subcompact class is the Chevrolet Spark, which is also small, lightweight, and also gets great mileage. There are a few trim choices with this car, yet none of them reach above $15,000 so even stretching your budget enough could earn you this car.

2017 Nissan Versa
  • $11,990
  • 31/39 MPG

Probably one of the most basic subcompact cars on the market, the Nissan Versa is the barebones commuter. It's not particularly comfortable, the automatic transmission is sluggish at best, and is severely down on power. However, it is somewhat roomy, even for adults, and is the cheapest in its class.

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage
  • $12,995 MSRP
  • 37/43 MPG

This car gets the best mileage of its class, but that comes at a price. Where the Ford Fiesta manages 40 MPG with 120 horsepower, the Mirage has under its hood the purring kitten of a 1.2-liter that makes a measly 78 horsepower, which pushes 43 MPG. It does have very high safety ratings from NHTSA, and is quite small.

Our Advice

Make a list of all your monthly subscriptions and evaluate the total costs. You may be surprised by how much you're spending. Consider what changes you can make to save more money for other things…like maybe a new car. If you are considering a new car, use our affordability calculator to determine your price range and our auto loan calculator to estimate your payments.


We surveyed 600 U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 34 (millennials) about how much they spend per month on subscription services via the survey platform Pollfish. After finding that 9.3% of respondents spend $200 or more on subscription services, we broke down the costs of about $200 worth of popular services. Using our loan calculator and assuming a down payment or trade-in of $2,500 and a loan term of 72 months, the car price for a monthly payment of $200 is $14,000. The four cars listed all have MSRP's under $14,000.

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Brionna LewisBrionna Lewis

Brionna is on a roller coaster that only goes up. You can follow her on twitter @BrionnaLewis.