We all know Gen Z is ahead of the curve when it comes to fashion, pop culture, and well… pretty much everything. If it weren’t for them, we would have never learned that baggy jeans are in, what the phrase “it’s giving” means, or how to find dupes for high-end products. We millennials may be older, but that does not always mean we’re wiser, especially when it comes to finances. After all, there’s always more to learn.
A recent survey conducted by financial institution SoFi shows that Gen Z is more financially conscious than we may give them credit for, with 21% of them saying that making money is their top ambition. In addition to having the ambition of making money, they also have tactics helping them achieve this goal. Ahead: five pieces of financial advice we can learn from Gen Z.
Supplement your income with a side hustle.
Despite the soft life trend going viral on TikTok, Gen Z hasn’t fully abandoned girlboss culture. Another study reports that 43% of Gen Z have a second job in addition to their full-time career to supplement their income. Meanwhile, only 33% of millennials have a side hustle. Whether you have credit card debt you want to pay down or a savings account you want to build up a bit more, making some additional money can help you achieve your financial goals. There are plenty of side hustles and easy ways to make extra income such as taking online surveys, selling clothes on Poshmark, or working retail on the weekends.
Use manifestations to attract money.
Manifestation may not be for everyone, but it certainly is for Gen Z who’s more likely than other generations to use affirmations to help realize their goals. With some small mindset changes, you can set yourself up for success and improve your relationship with money. Another way to practice money manifestation? Money journaling. This mix of reflection, planning, and affirmations can help you reframe your beliefs around your finances.
Value your retirement.
Gen Z may be the youngest generation in the workforce, but they’re already thinking about retirement. According to SoFi’s study, 37% of Gen Z participants want to retire before age 50 (which… same), which is 12 years before retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration kick in. It’s never too early to start planning for retirement—and if you haven’t started saving yet, now’s the time. If your job offers a retirement plan like a 401(k), consider taking advantage of this opportunity and contribute to it each month. If this isn’t an option, use an online retirement calculator to determine how much money you should save each month, then create a separate savings account so you won’t be tempted to spend that money. We recommend a high-yield savings account that will earn you more interest than a regular one.
Remember there’s food at home.
There’s nothing more satisfying than grabbing a little treat for yourself while you’re running errands. Between a coffee in the morning and lunch in the afternoon, these small purchases can add up over time. Gen Z is all too familiar with this struggle, with 43% of Gen Zers surveyed by Bank of America admitting to cooking at home more to save money. By all means, treat yourself to a dinner out or a coffee from your favorite shop every once in a while, but we could all take a page out of Gen Z’s book and remember there’s food at home.
If you’re not a professional chef or simply don’t want to be bothered with the hassle of cooking a complicated meal, there are easy ways to go about eating at home. We love one-pan recipes featuring our favorites from Trader Joe’s and meal-prepping lunches and dinners on Sunday to relieve yourself from chef duties the rest of the week. The best part about shifting to an eat-at-home first mentality (other than saving money, obviously) is that dinner out with your partner, the girls, or a solo date night once every couple of weeks feels all the more special.
Talk about family planning with your partner.
In addition to retirement, Gen Z is already thinking ahead about what their families will look like. A recent article says that Gen Z and even millennials are worried they won’t be able to afford to have a family since so many of them live paycheck to paycheck. First of all, kudos to anyone who’s thinking this through, but Gen Z is proof that it’s never too early to start considering what you want when it comes to kids. Whether you’re dating, engaged, or already married, set up a meeting with your partner to discuss what role you want children to play in your futures. Do you need to start saving money now to afford a family? Would you prefer to not have children? There’s no right or wrong answer, so just make sure you’re making the best decision for yourself and adjusting your finances accordingly.