3 things Gen Z does with their money that older generations can learn from
- Gen Z gets most of their financial literacy information on social media.
- They research the tips they find online for hours before making a decision.
- Unlike older generations, Gen Z will only hire a financial professional as a last resort.
When it comes to money, Gen Z makes their own rules.
According to a survey conducted by Insider with 104 people born in 1997 or later, most Gen Zers got their first phone before their 12th birthday. Because of this, people 25 and under are more likely to find financial literacy tools online.
Having witnessed the Black Lives Matter uprising, Gen Z is also more likely to spend money in alignment with their social activist views, and 54% of Gen Zers are also saving more because of the pandemic, according to the State of Gen Z report.
Insider spoke to financial literacy influencer and investing expert with TurboTax Humphrey Yang, who has 3.3 million followers on TikTok. Yang warns his mostly Gen Z audience, “I do think there is a little bit of danger in trusting anyone on the internet because you can get a million followers on TikTok promoting the wrong thing.”
Even with that warning, Yang says that Gen Z approaches personal finance differently than older generations in three distinct ways.
1. They learn about money on social media
Older generations might think scrolling on social media is a waste of time when they can go directly to an expert. Yang says, “My parents’ generation seems to really go by the book. They go by what financial advisors will say.”
In contrast, Gen Z is more creative with finding solutions. Says Yang, “The younger you go, the more that they look toward online resources. So YouTube, TikTok, Instagram Reels, talking to other people on chat rooms like Discord.”
2. Gen Z does hours of research to see if the information checks out
Even though Gen Z finds their financial literacy content online, they still do the legwork of making sure the information they found checks out.
Yang says, “They might see a tip from TikTok, maybe from me, maybe from someone else, and then they go and research it themselves and try to make a decision.”
3. They wait longer to hire a professional
Yang says that Gen Z will do as much research on the personal finance tips they find on the internet as possible before finally hiring a professional.
One contributing factor to this is that people under 25 might not have as much money to play with as a 35-year-old with higher earnings.
“The younger generation is more self-reliant,” Yang says. “They’re Googling a lot more. They’re reading a lot more online. And then they go and ask those older authorities in finance.”