Move Over Millennials: the 10 Ways Gen Z Can Teach Us Better Finances
They may be the most recent generation to join the workforce, but one thing’s for certain: they’re taking this whole financial stability thing pretty seriously. Say hello to Generation Z, our youngest money experts.
Gen Z is defined as those born after 1995 and are coming of age right now, and so unsurprisingly, many reports have come out about them and what it means to the rest of us. This sort of research traditionally likes to pit generations against one another, comparing Gen Xers to millennials, millennials to baby boomers, and so forth. But woe as I may be to admit that my seemingly screen-attached young niece could teach me anything about money, turns out Gen Z can teach us all a couple lessons on finance. Here’s a list of 10 money savvy tips inspired by the newest generation.
1. Get started now
Gen Z came of age during a recession, so they are no stranger to money struggles. Because of this, they are more money conscious at a young age—64% of Gen Z has already started thinking about financial planning. Start getting smart about your finances now. You can start here. If a ‘tween can do it, you can, too.
2. Quality over quantity
66% of Gen Z believes that it is important a brand sells high-quality products and, though this may sound trite, they embody this belief in their retail choices. They are not brand loyal, and they invest in what matters and lasts. Push yourself to look beyond your favorite brands to get the best deal for the best product.
3. Be that person
Not only are Gen Zers known for doing their research, they can absorb information more quickly than other generations. Part of that has to do with growing up with access to internet, iPads, and smartphones. But the point is: they look for better pricing even when they’re in-store. So go on, be that person staring at their phone in the shoe aisle to see if those boots are cheaper somewhere else. And don’t be afraid to walk if you find you can order them online for less.
4. Use reward programs—every single time
Gen Z saw their parents and family members money habits change during the recession, and they learned at a young age how to value shop. While we all probably belong to more loyalty programs than we realize, start using them consistently to get the most value. Don’t be lazy, dig out your phone or card and get those points.
5. Expect a brand to be loyal to you
While Gen Z loves to utilize loyalty programs, that doesn’t mean they are loyal to brands carte blanc. 81% will switch from their favorite brand if they find a brand that makes the same product at a higher quality. In addition, 72% of them will switch from their favorite brand if they find a product at the same quality but lower price.
6. Failure is a sure thing
71% expect significant failure before seeing success, and 40% believe that failure is an opportunity to try again. Don’t give up on your goal of actually budgeting this year or paying off your student loans. Success always includes a little bit of failure.
7. Memorable experiences don’t have to cost a lot
62% of Gen Z likes to spend their money on experiences, but that doesn’t necessarily mean shelling out big money for Coachella. Eating out and general activities with friends are where they find the most value for their money.
8. Side hustles don’t have to be hard
22% of teens say that, in addition to their allowance, they make money online. 16% say they work for themselves. This 8-year old started a YouTube channel reviewing toys and is now making millions. Your side hustle doesn’t have to be a large endeavor. Some have created a digital niche for themselves online, but some just teach piano lessons on the side. Don’t over-think, just give it a shot. Then, like Gen Z, embrace the fact that you can always make a change.
9. They aren’t afraid to live at home
They see the benefit of not only saving money but having the freedom to be more selective about the jobs they take. Don’t let societal stigma keep you from doing what could set you up for financial success. You can save thousands by living at home for only a year. You can use that money to get a head-start on paying off student loan debt, buying a home, or even use that time to start your own business without worrying about rent.
10. It’s not an attention problem, it’s an 8-second filter
Gen Z grew up with access to a deluge of information at their fingertips, and they have a couple of unique approaches to filtering through it. They look to trusted influencers to help narrow down what they read. They also look to see what is trending about any given content topic. When it comes to finances, many places offer helpful resources. Start with those from a trusted source and apply your 8-second filter. If it’s too cumbersome or not helpful, move on to a better resource for you.
What are some of your best financial tips? Is there a Gen Z influencer you love following?