As more of Gen Z enters the workforce, their financial goals are beginning to crystallize. The previous generation — millennials — prioritize building an emergency fund, getting out of credit card debt, boosting their credit score and investing as their top financial goals, according to Fidelity. With a new economic climate as Gen Z comes of age, their long-term goals are slightly different from the generation that came before.
Here’s a look at what’s most important to Gen Z when it comes to finances, according to a recent YPulse survey.
Tale as old as time: Gen Zers are trying to save money as much as they can, even in the wake of inflation. This isn’t different from previous generations, so it’s not surprising. However, it is an incredibly difficult undertaking.
Bank of America reported 73% of Gen Z finds it challenging to save money in the current economic climate. Of those surveyed, 59% blame inflation for it being hard to save, while 43% attribute savings difficulties to paying down their debt.
Part of the reason Gen Z wants to increase their income is that they’re just beginning their careers, so there is likely a lot of room to grow. The growing popularity of hustle culture has influenced Gen Z too, so it’s more likely members of this generation are taking on side jobs to try and up their income.
COVID-19 also had an impact on reshaping Gen Z’s priorities. Many reported that going through a time where they didn’t have an income or were stuck in an underpaying job made them want to seek out a higher-paying job in case tragedy struck again. The average salary for someone who’s part of Gen Z is $32,500, and the average salary in the United States is $55,640, so it makes sense that a higher salary is something they want to achieve.
Finding a Job
The age of most Gen Zers has a lot to do with the reasoning for this goal. Gen Z is anyone born between 1997 and 2012, which means a good chunk of them are looking for their first jobs right now. If they’re not looking for a job, they might be looking for that job with a higher income, as discussed earlier.
Gen Z is looking for a job that makes them happy. GOBankingRates reported that the top occupations that fit this bill are corporate recruiter, marketing manager, social media manager, data scientist and product manager. It makes sense, as corporate recruiters make almost $90,000 a year on average and marketing managers make near $80,000. Either one would be a huge salary bump to the typical Gen Z salary.
Buying a Car
Gen Z includes those who are 16 and just got their license, which means a car is one of their top priorities right now. One fact that stands out: Gen Z loves luxury vehicles. Despite feeling like it’s tough to save, they have a penchant for expensive cars. One in six members of Gen Z got a BMW as their first car, according to The Manufacturer.
But just because Gen Z loves luxe doesn’t mean they need it new — most car buyers in this generation are looking for used or pre-owned cars. And if you’re not living in the lap of luxury in Gen Z, you’re most likely to have a Honda Accord or a Honda Civic.
The term “living comfortably” is such a broad term, yet we all have a sense of what it means. There’s no panicking when you look at your bank account. There are no late fees. There’s just the knowledge that you’re going to be able to pay for everything that comes your way. This also plays into the earlier Gen Z goal about wanting to increase income. More money means more tranquility, and that’s something that has been a goal for many generations.
According to YPulse, millennials also have this as one of their top goals, which suggests it’s a pursuit that you have from young adulthood onward. Millennials also had wanting to be debt-free and homeownership on their list of goals, whereas Gen Z did not. For many Gen Zers right now, debt is just a part of the game. It’s a hard climate to save in, so debt is imminent. However, they’re still holding onto hope for a lifestyle where financial anxiety doesn’t dominate their thoughts.
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