Most Generation Zers would rather lie about their financial situation than speak about it honestly.
Members of Generation Z seem to have a more relaxed relationship with money than their elders. But they are far more self-conscious about their financial situation than they appear, according to a new US survey.
Business software company Intuit surveyed more than 4,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 in the US and Canada to find out how they perceive this historically taboo subject. The results suggest that they have as much trouble talking about money as their parents. Only 23% of those surveyed feel comfortable talking about their finances, especially debt, with those around them. They would rather discuss their love life, political views and even sexual experiences than the thorny issue of money.
This reluctance shows to what extent younger generations perceive money as a marker of social success. Social networks, where stars and influencers regularly show off their wealth, play an important role in this phenomenon. Thus, 70% of 18-25 year olds feel they are behind in achieving their life goals compared to the people they see on Instagram, TikTok and other social platforms.
As an indication of this growing frustration, most Gen Zers would rather lie about their financial situation than talk about it honestly. And yet, paradoxically, 69% of 18-25 year olds would like people to be more transparent about their earnings and debt levels.
While young people have seen their parents add to their savings to build up a solid asset base, younger generations are far from following their example. Two-thirds of respondents say they have just enough money in their bank account to cover their daily expenses, but not to save. This is a difficult situation for them, as 82% of 18-25 year olds say they are not satisfied with their current financial situation. Also read: Gen Z wants their employers to help them manage their finances
So what are they doing about that? They are educating themselves about finance on the internet, and searching social networks for tips and tricks to better manage their budget. But Gen Zers often find themselves overwhelmed by all this advice, some of which is sound, and some of which can be more dubious. Some 64% of those surveyed want to invest their money, but have no idea how to go about it. Some are falling for speculative assets like cryptocurrencies in the hope of hitting the jackpot, even though they don't really understand how blockchain works (48%).
"With so much information at consumers’ fingertips, the largest barrier to financial health is no longer informational, it’s behavioral. There's now an urgent need to translate financial literacy into financial capability," the Intuit study concludes.