“Wisdom comes with age,” we’re told. But if you’re an adult who’s raised members of the youngest generation to hit the workforce?the Generation Z cohort, or the iGens?there’s some good news. There are also insights the older ones can glean from Gen Z. Take for example their perspective on and attitude toward finances.
So, let’s learn some of the financial-related qualities this generation has:
Every generation has its version of long-term thinking. After all, this seems to be linked closely to the years one has spent living. But don’t discount the short time Gen Z has accumulated. During this period, it’s been shown they are investing their money in futures and cautious about spending it on things like travel.
In this regard, they share the same discernment characteristic of their boomer counterparts. They are not conservative buyers in every sense, but they’re a bit more careful about money than Gen X-ers in some aspects.
Saving Early for Retirement
Perhaps they’ve been exposed to how student loan debt has weighed down their millennial big brothers and sisters. Teenagers stretch that long-term thinking by choosing a university or college that won’t bury them in debt long after graduation. The youngest employees are setting up their individual retirement account (IRA) early.
As mentioned above, they’re also investing in various financial instruments. Gen Z is also the first generation to be raised in an all-digital world. So they’re more open to trying out new options like cryptocurrency (think bitcoin) and other digital assets.
The iGens resemble their grandparents’ spending and saving habits. The Great Depression shaped the latter while the Great Recession marked the former. So this young cohort is sharpening their financial survival skills with determination. The financial crash that has affected their parents or their friends’ parents, however, has done nothing to dampen their spirits. They still possess a positive outlook about the future.
A study found 89% of Gen Z respondents were optimistic about their financial future. Meanwhile, 83% of millennials and Gen Xers and 78% of baby boomers could say the same.
This generation didn’t have to transition into digital tech as we know it. It’s their world. And they are masters of using it to their advantage. This is reflected in the way they look for opportunities online.
Googling answers is second nature to them. However, they also don’t seek mentors the way millennials do. They can get answers from older people as well as their peers who are experts in particular subjects. When they can’t find answers, they look for alternatives and/or create their own.
This quality is present across all generations. Who doesn’t love deals? But the iGens are applying deals hunting not only on short-term purchases but also on long-term investments. They’re more exacting when it comes to what they seek in brands or products. They want ethically sourced and eco-friendly. But they’re also going to look for value for money choices.
Among the qualities listed here, the financial optimism of Gen Z is the most inspiring. It’s not that they’re denying the reality of their situation. It’s that they’re showing all of us hope that the youth can survive harder times when they come. The best reason for it is, of course, these kids are smart enough to prepare for such events.