Gen Z Finance: An Introduction for Brands

How hot are Gen Z on personal finance? Are they truly the "money-saving generation"? Here's the introduction you need to Gen Z finance.
Fanbytes | Gen Z Finance

In 30 seconds:

  • Gen Z finance: We’ve got the ultimate introduction to their thoughts, feelings and desires on money.
  • Zoomers want to build their financial confidence. How can we help? Let’s explore.
  • What can brands do to get Gen Z personal finance savvy? We have the info.

How are young people negotiating a changing financial world? Gen Z finance is a big topic, but it’s essential for brands to get to grips with Gen Zers’ monetary journeys, so you can properly support them along the way. 

This generation is growing up fast. With birthdays between 1997 and 2012, they already make up over 20% of the world’s population. A quarter of the workforce will soon be members of Gen Z. It’s a pivotal time as they are reaching financial independence while the world is becoming more financially turbulent.

But it’s not just today‘s money they’re thinking about. They see the big picture, with 93% of teens believing they need financial knowledge and skills to achieve their life goals. So just how much of that have they already got, and how can you help them?

This article serves as the ultimate introduction, with Gen Z financial statistics and insights that give us a glimpse into their aspirations, wants and worries. So let’s get into it. 

Building confidence

Zoomers are getting their bearings on finances. They are at the start of a lifelong financial planning path. But they are more aware than any older generation about their financial literacy, and they want to build their confidence. Only 46% of Gen Z currently feel confident about their financial knowledge. Younger generations need to build up this understanding. 

But Gen Z doesn‘t want to be babied; they want independence. 

Regarding careers, 62% said they would prefer to customise their career path rather than having a corporation develop it for them. Hand-holding is a no-no for zoomers, and brands need to take note.

There has been an unlikely ally in boosting financial confidence among this generation: the pandemic. Yes, despite the upheaval of the economy and the obvious emotional stress lockdowns have presented to Gen Z, it’s been a driving factor in increasing financial confidence.

COVID-19 made Gen Z frugal but also more self-assured with money. 60% are now more financially confident than they were before the onset of the pandemic. Understanding their finances was necessary during this time and has fast-tracked the population to comprehend their financial future better. 

They’re keeping track of their pennies too. Budgeting has increased, with over 30% of Zoomers confessing that they’re doing it for the first time, while 39% are using new methods such as apps or spreadsheets to keep better track of their budgeting habits. Gen Z finance is now at the front of their minds, and they want to know more.

Hungry for more

73% of teens want more financial education. They’re keen to learn about money and how to make the most of it. Unfortunately, many feel they haven’t had enough schooling on this. Only 38% of young people remember learning about finance management at school, and this is coming from the most educated generation yet! 

The most important thing to note about this? Gen Z is aware. They know they need more info, so they’re hungry for practical financial information. Rita Assaf, Fidelity’s vice president of retirement products, told CNBC, “This generation is way more aware than previous generations were at their age; younger investors are seeing the lessons learned from those prior generations and want to be more in charge [of their money].” 

Gen Zers have a yearning to be in the financial front seat. Giving them this will help them individually, and will pave the way for a more sustainable future. 

52% of Gen Z feel more focused on upping their financial literacy. Something else they’re focused on? Investment.

Investing in their future

This generation is constantly looking forward, and this impacts their financial decisions. Gen Zers are digital natives, after all, and are not afraid of a challenge. But stability is critical for them. Teens ranked having a well-paying job as their #1 financial life goal, showing how ready they are for security. And it doesn’t stop there. Gen Z is looking into retirement. Talk about thinking ahead! 

Generation Z may be the most pension savvy generation yet, with 77% saying they knew exactly how much pension they have saved to date. According to the Royal Mint, 80% of 16 to 25 year-olds are investing in their futures, with the majority stashing up to £200 per month. They are learning from the mistakes of millennials, Gen X and baby boomers, and want to set themselves up for early retirement (25% of them wish to stop working at 55).

Additionally, Gen Zers are investment buffs, with 54% holding some kind of investment already. 86% of teens are interested in investing, and those that don’t say they don’t feel confident or their parents don’t know how to get started.

Where do Gen Z’s investments lie? A new area is crypto. 56% of Gen Z adults state they are including cryptocurrency or NFTs as part of their retirement strategy. They are looking at new and innovative ways to save for later life. 

Financial worries and well-being

Gen Z cares about wellness. That includes their economic well-being. Unfortunately, finances bring concerns for this generation, and rising bills are only getting worse. The biggest reason for stress among Gen Zers is their “long-term financial future”. They are big thinkers and seem hyper-focused on their futures, wanting stability throughout their lives. 

They’re having conversations about it, too, with 67% of parents and teens ranking money as one of their most talked about topics in the past six months, second only to the pandemic at 78%. The cost of living is a big worry, with 29% of Zoomers rating it as their greatest concern. 

But they aren’t looking for get-rich-quick schemes. Gen Z wants attainable goals like having a good credit score and having a ‘rainy-day’ fund. They want to be able to pay back student loan debts (27% of Gen Z respondents plan to pay off their debt by age 29). But their most significant financial goal? Not being worried before they look at their bank balance. 

Brands have a unique opportunity with this generation to help them achieve these goals without the old-fashioned expectations of “work hard, play hard”. They want to feel better about their finances, with 84% asking employers to offer financial wellness programs. Clearly, money is more than numbers for young people, and they believe it’s time companies start taking this on board. 

How can your brand help?

We’ve painted a picture of Gen Z personal finance and its meaning to them. But how can your brand help? What’s this generation looking for? 

We asked Richard Cook, Social Media Manager at Monzo bank, who said, “At Monzo, we want to make money work for everyone. And that means speaking to people where there are, and in the language they use. That means bringing financial education – which can have a reputation for being a bit stuffy and boring – to brand new audiences.

“We know that young people are hungry for information that helps them manage their money better, as the over 6 billion videos on the TikTok #personalfinance hashtag alone proves. As does the rise of influencers specialising in financial education.

“So we try to produce content that helps to teach people about money, while also being engaging. Nailing that tone – channel appropriate without sounding patronising – is absolutely key. And it’s crucial that the information we share is useful and accurate, as well as being fun!”

There are so many ways brands can reach Gen Z, whether you’re marketing financial services or providing financial information. we’ve listed a few of the most important:

1. Teaching truth

53% of Gen Z respondents believe they can improve their financial literacy but don’t know how to. Brands can give them the tools to do this. By providing truthful information and easy-to-understand advice, you can upgrade Gen Z’s financial knowledge to help build trust and expand their capacity to take on new financial challenges. Making sure your brand is genuine with its information is essential. Gen Z is bright and will sniff out any misleading data.

2. Stay social

Over a third (38%) of Gen Zers are learning their personal finance from social media (34% citing TikTok specifically). TikTok is a growing financial haven for this generation, providing visually stimulating, educational content that is helping them learn every day. Brands need to be on these platforms if they want to get through to them. 61% of Gen Z is specifically interested in watching more video content, so start creating snappy videos to get their attention. Richard is right to point out that #personalfinance is a great place to start!

3. Get them “doing”

Gen Zers are active learners. According to this study, they predominantly learn by doing and prefer dynamic learning environments. Practical advice, tips and products will grab their attention. Getting them involved with their finances is a perfect way to build their confidence. Keeping things factual and presenting real-life situations and simulations will fast forward their learning. Think about ways your brand can provide that for them, and they’ll thank you. 

4. Using “Fin-fluencers”,

Gen Z trusts their peers. They also trust influencers. Many finance influencers (or “fin-fluencers”) on TikTok, Youtube and Instagram can get your brand’s message across. Looking for more info on where to begin? Take a look at our article: TikTok For Finance: The Rise of “Fin-fluencers”.

Diving into the finance data

The stats and data within this article tell a distinct story: Gen Z is getting more finance literate, and they’re hungry for brands that can help them. We want to prepare you for it. Brands should be looking at ways to solve their problems, mitigate their worries, and inspire them. 

We’re a long-term partner of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), and have created a number of TikTok campaigns designed to educate Gen Z about careers in accounting and finance. We’ve found that by turning Gen Zers’ expectations on their head (for example, showing that accountancy isn’t just for “white middle class men”), we’ve been able to inspire hundreds of young people to educate themselves – resulting in the highest number of sign ups for an event ever run by the Guardian. 

The principal takeaway is, if you can paint an exciting picture for Gen Z, this generation is keen to create progress for themselves. The trick is getting into their mindset first.

When it comes to Gen Z, we know our stuff. So if you’re looking to get into younger generations‘ hearts and minds, we’re here to wire you in. Get in touch to see how we can help you communicate with them like never before. 

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