The “younger generation” always gets the bad rep from their elders, but that has been the case since the time of our great grandparents. The Gen Z or “zoomers” are sitting in that position right now. While their older relatives are still stuck on Facebook, the zoomers were dominating apps like Snapchat and Instagram. Now that their elders are finally getting their minds around such platforms, they have moved on to TikTok.
This is no surprise since history tells us that the younger generations are typically the first to embrace new technologies and platforms. This makes sense as the older generation is used to doing things a certain way and it is only human nature that letting go of a habit or learning a new one can be cumbersome.
Keeping aside social media and technology (although is there any such thing with the way things work around the world today?), Gen Z might also have a thing or two to teach their older peers about when it comes to finances.
That’s right. Zoomers, with their typical style of accepting new technology (fintech) and some pretty bold and unconventional money moves, may have cracked the code to financial freedom and comfortable retirements. Or not. The fact still remains that their money management style is fresh and could have several takeaways. Here are some money moves the zoomers are making, and maybe you and I can learn something from them too.
They Start Investing a Lot Earlier
Traditionally, people have waited until they earn a comfortable amount of money before they start looking into investing, but Gen Z has ignored such norms. According to a survey conducted by MagnifyMoney, 22% of zoomer investors say they began dabbling in the investment market in their teens, compared to just 9% of Millenials.
Gen Z seems to have understood that you don’t need much money to start investing and you don’t need much knowledge either. You can learn (and earn) as you go! With online platforms like Robinhood, Public, TradeStation, and etc., you can start investing with however much you have in your possession – whether it be $10 or $1000. You can even free stocks just for signing up!
They Are More Open to Risks
Most Millennials are focused on passing personal milestones when it comes to their investments, and the older generation is still convinced it’s best to play the long game, but zoomers aren’t thinking of the long run. According to a survey conducted by Barclays, nearly half (49%) of Gen Z investors said they only intended to invest their money for 2-5 years, and 16% of them simply admitted that they just wanted to get rich quickly.
You may have heard that the best way to grow your money is to invest in the stock market and letting it grow, but the best approach would be somewhere between both of these approaches. “Get rich quick” isn’t a very probably option for most people, but you don’t have to do something akin to locking your money in the basement cellar and letting it age either.
If you’re just looking for a place to safely store your savings, you don’t have to let it sit in a safe. You can put it in a high-yield bank account or even cash back debit cards like Aspiration which lets you earn up to 5% every time you swipe the card and up to 16 times the average interest on the money in your account. All this with no monthly account maintenance fee!
They Don’t Need to Consult You on Credit
It’s safe to say that most of us were pretty clueless about credit management and personal finance when were growing up, but the zoomers have already got a leg up on this. They don’t need to consult you on debt or credit. And don’t try to teach about keeping their credit card usage low – they already know!
They also know that one of the toughest parts of paying off debt is knowing where to begin. This generation was born into the digital age, so they use online resources such as credit monitoring services which they use to keep their scores healthy.
And there’s no reason why you can’t do the same. Do you know if any of your credit cards are carrying a balance? Whether there are any unpaid loans in your name? Are you certain there aren’t unpaid bills or payments you forgot to make? Free websites like Credit Sesame can help you find the answers to these questions and much more – and it takes less than two minutes to sign up for free and access your credit score.
These services also help outline a plan to pay off your debt and give you the choice of the method you want to utilize (debt avalanche, debt snowball, etc.). Even if you do not have any debt, you can use this service to keep track of your financial position and progress, which is a good way to keep yourself accountable!
They Don’t Settle for a “Good Price”
… They’re going to shop around for the best one!
Some zoomers have had social media accounts since before they could talk, so is it really a surprise that they are savvy online shoppers? They tend to shop around for the best price, and therefore always get the best bargains. This is definitely something you can learn from the members of Gen Z.
Apart from shopping for goods and services, you can also shop around for things like auto insurance. It is best to review your options every 6 months or so to ensure you are getting the best deal. It’s not easy to do this consciously twice a year, so why not let someone else do it for you?
There are several websites where you can shop around and check prices for auto insurance, and even other types of insurances. Doing so can help you save an average of $489 a year. That’s right, that’s nearly $500 in your pocket just for taking a few minutes to check out your options!
They Like to Make Money Off Their Personalities
If you haven’t noticed already, there are so many online “celebrities” who have made a living out of just being themselves. Love to cook? Fitness freak? A master crafter? Sports fan? You can make money by blogging or posting videos about literally anything!
Even if it isn’t your main form of income, people have managed to make side hustles out of everything from the medical field to motherhood. They do so by gaining sizeable followings online, which helps them sell their goods and services or land sponsorships with brands whose target audience fits theirs. And what makes a person want to follow them? Their unique personalities and views, of course!
Say you aren’t exactly wanting to do the same and put yourself out on social media. There are still a number of ways to earn some money on the side, from paid surveys to even watching videos. Yes, you heard that right. A website called InboxDollars pays you to watch short video clips online and answer a few quick questions about them. You’re probably already doing that in your free time, so why not get paid for it!