From my observation, one of the main difference between the older generation (Gen X) and the younger generation (Gen Y or Millennial - birth years 1980s) is Gen Y have very strong 'I Want It Now' attitude, while Gen X prefer to plan and take time to have the things they wish for. For example, purchasing a new car. For Gen Y, they prefer to buy the expensive new car which is most of the time, out of their budget, but Gen Y will try to get financial assistance from their parents. For Gen X, they prefer to get a cheaper or smaller or not that fancy car / secondhand car for their daily commute purpose, until they managed to save for their dream car. And usually, Gen X do not prefer to have financial support from parents or family members.
Another example would be the way Gen X and Gen Y manage their finances. Gen X are usually more reserved and careful with their finances, with many considerations and planing especially for big purchases such as a car or a house. For Gen Y, I would say they are very 'happy go lucky' type. Many of them will think 'life is too short', so, why have to worry about so many uncertain things? Why not enjoy life to the fullest while we are still alive? Usually, they will spend whatever they have and sometimes even spend their future money (credit cards, personal loans).
Somehow, Gen Y's attitudes will move the market and keep the market going which is a good thing. But, the problem happened when they overspend and not able to pay back whatever they have spent.
Gen X's attitude might not be so good for the economy but at least it's more realistic and careful.
I would say the best would be a combination of Gen X and Gen Y attitudes. I would prefer 70% Gen X attitude and 30% of Gen Y attitudes. I would like to have a protection for myself and my family, a portion of income saved for emergency, a portion of income invested and a portion of income under 'free spending - eating out, vacations, entertainment. With this, I can enjoy life!