Financial Implications of Being a Hipster

I am a wannabe hipster. That’s right. I dream of hipsterdom. Unfortunately, my affinity for bottled water and bad television pretty much kills this dream for me. (I know, I know. Bottled water is bad. I tried going without it for a week and stopped drinking water! Dehydration is bad, too.)

So what is a hipster? A hipster is usually a twenty or thirty-something who is alternative in every way. The stereotypical hipster has independent political views, alternative spirituality, enjoys independent music and film, and rejects all that is mainstream. You will often find them reading obscure books while drinking tea in an independent coffee shop. They are the hippies of the now, with less drug use and sexual promiscuity.

What makes hipsters so different from the rest of us when it comes to spending money? I’m glad you asked.

Hipster Cat

Spending More

Coffee & tea. You will not catch a true hipster at Starbucks. Starbucks is THE MAN. Hipsters get their caffeine at independent coffee shops. And good independent places are always more expensive than their “sell-out” counterparts.

Apple products. If you are truly a hipster, you cannot have a PC. It is beneath your level of awesome. Apple is expensive but a hipster will swallow the cost because that is the cost of hipsterdom after all.

Rent. Hipsters find refuge in large cities that offer both culture and acceptance of alternative and unique lifestyles. New York, L.A., Chicago. What do all those cities have in common? High rent and overall cost of living. Hipsters are doling out major bucks for their homes. Thankfully, they probably decorated them on the cheap with thrift store finds and someone else’s trash treasure.

Spending Less

Tap Water. No bottled water for these guys. At most, they will invest in a BPA-free reusable water bottle. Go Earth!

– Clothing. A true hipster is rocking thrift store clothes. Why? Because it’s green. It means less waste. Even better, there are some awesome vintage pieces at thrift stores for those willing to dig.

Stuff in general. The hipster culture as a whole is one of minimalism and the rejection of consumerism. Hipsters purchase with their environment and local retailers in mind, which costs more. However, they purchase less overall stuff and enjoy having only a few material goods that help their local and global environment.

Are you a hipster? If so, how do you spend differently than the general public? If not, do you also dream of hipsterdom?

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  1. I like to troll hipsters. I pose as one, but all my clothing is from Aritzia and not thrift shops so it probably doesn’t count. I still go to Starbucks and sometimes I listen to country music. But a quick glance at my wayward hair, thick-rimmed glasses, and grubby grey jeans, is enough to deceive most. Only true hipsters know I’m a poser.

    A few days ago I was at an independent coffee shop (brick walls, exposed beams, the works) and I saw a ginger hipster with a handlebar mustache READING THE GREAT GATSBY. I didn’t know how to take a photo without being a jerk, but it was amazing.

    • I wish I was cool enough to be a hipster. I’m a loser, but I’m a loser who is a bit too mainstream. I mean, I read Twilight. *ducks judgmental looks* And I couldn’t shop at a thrift store if I tried. I love the song, but thrift shops are scummy…

      That. Sounds. Amazing. You must find him again. He is a hipster god.

  2. I knew coffee would be on the list!

    Most of my hipster friends are from when I live in LA, and I promise you…I was the only person I knew in LA who drank the tap water. The people of Los Angeles, including hipsters, are terrified of tap water!

    • What? Please tell me they filtered their water and didn’t buy bottled water! Hipsters are supposed to be green! Another stereotype that has let me down…

      Thanks for reading, Becky!

  3. LOL. I’m far from a hipster but I definitely have some hipster qualities (I hate bottled water and what it does to the earth and my body, I hate Starbucks and I love Apple products). I can’t believe people like in Bridget’s comment exist!

    • I want to hate bottled water so bad! I really do. But I find myself not drinking water if I don’t have it readily available to me.

      The hipster in Bridget’s comment is like the mother of all hipsters. I did not know someone could be that hipster. As a fellow ginger, I’m proud of this guy’s hipsterdom and badassery.

  4. I’m about as far from hipster-hood as you can be. The dirty look bugs me, I love preppy clothing (blazers please!) and something about a man in a crisp suit really revs my engine.

    However, I loved your post! As a New York City dweller I love watching hipsters in their natural habitat (Brooklyn) and marvel at how anyone is sustaining that extremely expensive lifestyle? Parental welfare perhaps?

    • It has to be parental welfare. The rest of us don’t have the luxury of being so “creative”.

      I love hipsters though. They are just too cool for school. (And me, well, I say things like “too cool for school”)

      Thanks for reading, new best friend!

  5. Sooo glad I live in nyc where we have the best tap water! Definitely no reason to buy bottled water (plus buying that in bulk would be impossible to get home).

    It’s hard for me to think about the finances of stereotypical hipsters because of the associated stereotype of them being trust-fund kids. Stereotypes are that for a reason but there is some parental assistance there for some 20/30 year olds paying the expensive rents of LA and NY.

    The thrift store thing doesn’t really count though because the “thrift stores” in brooklyn/east village are expensive (considering)! An ugly sweater or ironic t-shirt will easily be $10+. We’re not talking $2 pairs of jeans in these stores.

    Also, can’t really say “rejects all that is mainstream” since there is the admiration of all things Apple!

    • Very true, the hipster lifestyle is afforded through parental funding. I always think of the “Neighbors” episode of New Girl. They are all totally hipster and they don’t know how to use appliances and none of them have real jobs. Unfortunately, the show portrayed these kids as young 20-somethings, not hipsters. Zooey Deschanel said in the episode, “At least I’m not 23. At least I own a trash can.” And I’m yelling at the TV, “It’s not because they are millenials, it’s because they’re hipsters!”

      Whoa, you guys have pricey thrift stores! I live in Ohio, thrift stores are very, very cheap.

      Apple seems to be the hipster loophole. The company has long advertised to that “too cool to be cool” demographic. Now, hipsters and yuppies alike enjoy Apple products.

      Thanks for reading, Leslie!

  6. BAHAHAHA, this is great.

    I am most definitely NOT a hipster. No aspirations to be, either.

  7. So being “alternative in every way” is really having to conform to being alternative rather than truely being free to make your own choices? I would agree that many group think choices are bad, but avoiding them at all costs seems like just another prison of the mind.

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