5 monetary steps we will all be taught from Gen Z

The “younger generation” always gets a bad reputation from the older ones, but that has been true since the time of our great-grandparents. The Gen Z or “zoomers” are in that position right now. While their older relatives were still stuck with Facebook, the zoomers dominated apps like Snapchat and Instagram. Now that their elders are finally setting their sights on such platforms, they have switched to TikTok.

This is no surprise, as history shows us that the younger generations are usually the first to embrace new technologies and platforms. This makes sense because the older generation is used to doing things a certain way and it is only human nature that letting go of a habit or learning a new habit can be cumbersome.

Aside from social media and technology (but does that even exist, given the way the world works these days?), Gen Z might be able to teach their older peers a thing or two about finance.

That’s right. Zoomers, with their typical style of accepting new technology (fintech) and some pretty bold and unconventional money moves, may have cracked the code for financial freedom and comfortable retirements. Or not. The fact remains that their style of money management is fresh and could have several leads. Here are some money steps the Zoomers are taking, and maybe you and I can learn something from them, too.

They start investing much earlier

Traditionally, people have waited until they earn a comfortable amount of money before they start looking at investing, but Gen Z has ignored such norms. According to a survey conducted by MagnifyMoney, 22% of zoomer investors say they began dabbling in the investment market in their teens, compared to only 9% of Millenials.

Gen Z seems to have understood that you don’t need a lot of money to start investing, nor do you need a lot of knowledge. You can learn (and earn) while you’re at it! With online platforms like Robinhood, Public, TradeStation, etc., you can start investing with however much you own – whether it’s $10 or $1000. You can even get free shares just by signing up!

They are more open to risk

Most millennials are focused on passing personal milestones when it comes to their investments, and the older generation is still convinced that it’s best to play the long game, but zoomers aren’t thinking about the long term. According to a Barclays survey, nearly half (49%) of Gen Z investors said they only wanted to invest their money for 2 to 5 years, and 16% of them simply admitted they wanted to get rich quick.

You may have heard that the best way to grow your money is to invest in the stock market and let it grow, but the best approach would be somewhere between these two approaches. “Getting rich quick” is not a very likely option for most people, but you also don’t have to do something akin to locking your money in the basement and letting it age.

If you’re just looking for a place to safely store your savings, you don’t have to leave it in a vault. You can put it in a high-interest bank account or even cashback debit cards like Aspiration, which earns you up to 5% every time you use the card and up to 16 times the average interest rate on the money in your account. And all this with no monthly maintenance fees!

They don’t need to consult you about credit

It’s safe to say that most of us had no idea about credit management and personal finance when we were growing up, but Zoomers already have a head start in this area. They don’t need to consult you about debt or credit. And don’t try to teach them how to keep their credit card usage low – they already know that!

They also know that one of the hardest parts of paying off debt is knowing where to start. This generation was born into the digital age, so they use online tools like credit monitoring services that they use to keep their scores healthy.

And there’s no reason why you can’t do the same. Do you know if any of your credit cards have a balance on them? Whether there are any unpaid loans in your name? Are you sure there are no unpaid bills or payments you forgot to make? Free websites like Credit Sesame can help you find the answers to these questions and more – and it takes less than two minutes to sign up for free and access your credit score.

These services also help you map out a plan to pay off your debt and give you the choice of which method to use (debt avalanche, debt snowball, etc.). Even if you don’t have debt, you can use this service to keep track of your financial position and progress, which is a great way to keep yourself accountable!