Fast Company notes that the Bank of America published data in September stating 73% of Generation Z are unable to save money. Rent payments are now 16% more expensive year-over-year for Gen Z compared to only 3% for boomers.
All these stats are particularly damning for young people, as they’ve not had adequate time to find their professional footing or build up a savings account. This means that any change in living costs will be felt acutely compared to much older peers with nest eggs and a safety net.
Millennials have had a rough time over the years too, with most saying their financial situation was ‘dire’ earlier this year. They added that life aspirations were virtually impossible to reach as a result. Generation Z are in much the same boat – just far younger with nothing to fall back on.
It makes those tired arguments about ‘Netflix and takeaways’ all the more frustrating. Just this past summer, nearly half of the UK believed that Gen Z spent too much cash on streaming, fast food, and coffee, and sourced it as a primary factor in their inability to buy a house.
The reality is far more complicated. Put simply, money does not go anywhere near as far as it used to, with wages stagnant and costs of goods rising exponentially. Young people are finding it hard to simply move out altogether, let alone begin to build an independent life.
With war, climate change, and constant political uncertainty here to stay for the long-term, it’s unlikely we’ll see a change in fortune any time soon. The reality for Gen Z will likely be stricter spending habits, less luxuries, and avoiding renting properties for as long as possible.
It’s no wonder Gen Z are so adamant on side hustles and independent employment. Having multiple income streams isn’t so much a novelty, rather a growing necessity.