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Study shows Gen Z less likely to discuss money worries

Research from Monzo shows young people are most likely to hide money worries when socialising.

The cost-of-living crisis has affected many households in the UK. People are cutting back on essentials and prioritising how to spend their cash.

One group affected by this are Gen Z.

A new survey from digital bank Monzo reveals a surge in young people feeling uncomfortable talking about money.

Of the 2,000 adults they asked in the UK, 45% of Brits aged 18-34 say the cost-of-living crisis has made them even less likely to discuss their finances openly.

Reasons for keeping quiet include viewing it as a private matter (33%), finding it hard to talk about (30%) and even feeling guilty (28%). It’s such a taboo topic that they’d be embarrassed to ask for anything less than £96 back – equivalent to 50% of Brits’ average weekly budget.

Many respondents find navigating money in social situations awkward too.

Over a third (37%) say they’ve been forced to split a bill unfairly at a restaurant, and 45% have made an excuse not to do something with their mates when the real reason is financial difficulties – leading to feelings of embarrassment (39%), anxiety (25%), and even shame (26%).

The bank also found that closing off comes at a cost, with their well-being being affected – something the cost of living crisis has impacted.

Three in five (61%) 18-34-year-olds who aren’t honest about money with loved ones say it’s had a negative impact on their mental health.

In response to the survey, Monzo has partnered with psychotherapist, Ali Ross, who has shared his top tips on broaching money with loved ones.

The first tip is to unpack why money conversations make you feel embarrassed or ashamed. ‘The more you know about your hang-ups with money, the more empowered you will be to overcome them,’ says Ali.

Secondly, it’s always best to be upfront when going out. Will everyone pay their way, or will someone manage the costs, and we settle up at the end?

‘When you go out or away with friends, be upfront as early as possible about how you’re handling money,’ he says. ‘Whatever you decide, if it’s been agreed beforehand, you will feel more at ease knowing your needs have been communicated clearly, and you’re all on the same page (in theory).’

Lastly, Ali says to approach money talks sensitively.

While splitting the bill can make people feel stressed, bossed around, or kill the mood if you’re on a date, you could let your digital bank do all the talking. ‘Using features like bill-splitting shifts the focus and pressure away from you, or anyone else taking the lead,’ he says.

The study found that two-thirds (67%) of young Brits would find it helpful if their banking app enabled them to categorise and settle shared expenses with others in one place. Three-quarters (76%) would appreciate a bill-splitting tool, so they only pay the exact amount they owe.

Monzo also has features like bill-splitting and shared tabs to make life a little easier. ‘If you forget to agree, don’t be afraid to ask your mates to “Monzo Me” afterwards,’ says Ali.

The cost of living crisis will likely last until the end of 2024, according to ICAEW. While apps like Monzo are helping to ease financial worries, if the stress is getting to you, it’s always important to get in touch with a professional or someone you trust.