What Gen Z and Millennials Think of Finances

By Anna

Studies show there is a great difference in how Gen Z and millennials treat money. The generation Z seems to not go crazy about growing up compared to the previous Y generation (or millennials), especially when it comes to managing finances.

American youth not only saves money earned at their part-time afterschool jobs, they are also ready to save for retirement. People still debate on when there was an end of the millennials time and a beginning of the Gen Z decade. According to Jason Dorby, president of the Center for Generational Kinetics, the Gen Z refers to everyone who doesn’t recall the 9/11 event and those born after 1996.

Let’s look closer at the main financial priorities of both generations from Personal Money Service online loans specialists!

How Gen Z Treats Money

Those Gen Z representatives that took part in studies by the Center for Generational Kinetics admitted they try avoiding debts at all costs. Even when it comes to higher education, people from the youngest generation would rather study in a less expensive college that leaves them with a minimal debt. Smaller debts guarantee them a better mobility allowing them to work where they really want without having a burden of a large student debt behind their back.

Another 2016 study by the Lincoln Financial Group found that 89% of the Gen Z representatives remain optimistic about their financial future versus 83% of millennials and respondents of Gen X, and 78% of baby boomers. This fact is encouraging since young people are more selective in investing their cash than previous generations. At least 64% of Gen Z representatives admitted that they have their own savings account compared to 51% representing older generations.

Even though retirement is just a distant future for them, young Zers already think about their retirement now. Just imagine: 12% of the interviewed ones have already begun to save for retirement, and 35% plan to start saving as soon as they reach their 20ies.

How Millennials Treat Money

Just like Gen X and baby boomers, millennials care about purchasing their own home, car, save for college and vacations, as reported by a Stash survey in 2017. They are more conservative to investing compared to other generations, mostly because of the economic Recession in 2008, when they first faced economic difficulties as they just started working or attending college. Also, millennials hold a higher level of cash, 25% of their assets versus 17% hold by baby boomers.

Even though Gen Z and millennials are ‘neighbors’, they have both their similarities and differences. The study came up with one big difference between these generations. They both witnessed the Great Recession. However, the Gen Z, in this case, didn’t feel it professionally because of their young age, and millennials did. Generation Z made a conscious decision to change the way of handling money and loans after observing how millennials fought stagnant wages and huge college debts.

Nevertheless, two generations have some things in common. For instance, both demonstrate the same attitude toward credit and credit cards: they have the lowest average balance and the lowest credit card debt than all other generations as reported by Experian's 7th Annual State of Credit.

How Gen Z spends money

When it comes to spending, Gen Z expects to get as much as possible for their money. They expect a quick delivery and, get quite upset when something goes wrong during this process, reports Business Insider. Representatives of this young generation would rather buy something cheaper with no label than something from a big brand. Millennials are on the contrary more loyal to brands and forgive them for some drawbacks.

Speaking of the payment itself, Zen Zers remain more conservative when it comes to money. They have more access to digital payments since almost half of them install mobile payment apps and only 46% of the interviewed ones attended a financial institution within the last month. Still, 70% of the older generations also use their smartphones, laptops, and tablets for purchases, according to the 2016 AARP study. At least 35% of the respondents of the National Retail Federation study said they use the application to make purchases, while 54% use a web browser.


Millennials and Generation Z have the greatest impact on the world today. They are responsible for the world’s progress right now, especially in digitals since both of those generations can no longer imagine life without technologies. By the way, you’ll be surprised but when it comes to digital savviness, age doesn’t play a huge role here. There are baby boomers that love digital technologies just as their grandchildren from Generation Z just because digital progress affects everyone today. The only thing is that compared to other generations, representatives of Gen Z don’t know a life without technologies anymore.

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