How Gen Z Views Money

Generation Z marks a drastic change in the way people think of money as a concept. While every generation is different, Z is proving to be the one that will redefine the financial future. With challenges brought about by the current and past environment, this generation has to adapt. They’re adapting at a faster pace than expected.

Generation Z witnessed the fears and problems that stemmed from the previous generations. Many of them watched their Generation X parents struggle because of The Great Recession. Many of them had secure jobs and means, only for most of them to falter during the economic downturn.

On the other hand, they also watched Millennials who had to adjust to the onset of new technology. They watched the financial impact of those who prioritized spending and did not know the consequences of their actions. They saw the results of their struggles to pay student debt. Many Millennials also discovered the impact of financial planning on their own.

Generation Z grew up not knowing what life was like before smartphones and the internet. It allowed them to adjust and adapt fast. They saw Millennials struggle to pursue their dreams amid limited job availability. Whether in college or the workforce, many consider availability and demand before anything else.

They are also not so keen on debt, with the majority opting for lower-cost higher education. Millennials save more money, but Gen Z takes on less debt. As witnessed by many today, this younger generation comes in with the knowledge of past mistakes, making them a wiser force to reckon with. The data shows the difference:

  • 35% of Gen Z already have business plans or have started a business.

  • Only 21% of Gen Z wanted to take student loans.

  • 64% of Gen Z started researching and talking to others about financial planning.

  • 75% of all Gen Z are willing to shift to another state if a job opportunity arises.

Embracing Financial Technology and Sustainability

One of the unique aspects of Generation Z’s approach to money is their readiness to adopt financial technology (FinTech) solutions and their interest in sustainable investing. Growing up with smartphones and the internet, Gen Z is comfortable using mobile apps and online platforms for financial planning, budgeting, and investing. Their digital native status allows them to quickly learn about and integrate new financial tools into their lives, giving them an edge in managing their personal finances.

FinTech solutions like mobile banking, digital wallets, and robo-advisors are increasingly popular among Gen Z, as these tools provide convenience, cost savings, and seamless user experiences. Furthermore, they often prioritize security, ensuring that their financial information remains safe while conducting transactions online. This generation’s trust in technology and preference for online transactions has led to a surge in the adoption of cryptocurrencies, with many young people investing in digital assets to diversify their portfolios.

In addition to their interest in financial technology, Gen Z is also demonstrating a strong inclination towards sustainable and socially responsible investing. This generation is concerned about the long-term impact of their investments on the environment and society, and they actively seek out investment opportunities that align with their values. As a result, there has been a significant increase in demand for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment options among younger investors.

Gen Z Financial Literacy

One of the shifts in the behavior of this new generation is their concern about their finances. A significant part of Gen Z is aware of financial literacy and wants to improve. However, one of the biggest challenges they face is the source of their knowledge. Around 84% still rely on their parents and family for financial information.

While it can help to some degree, the information may be outdated, incomplete, or wrong altogether. Older generations learned the hard way. Others still have the same misconceptions. Even though Gen Z is beginning to learn at a young age, they have to broaden their horizons.

One of the ways they can do that is through the Internet. The web provides a plethora of resources to draw from. There’s so much information out there that it’s all about separating the good ones from the rest. The good news is that today’s generation is savvy enough to understand when something online is genuine. Zoomers are less likely to fall for scams and can adeptly navigate the internet.

While their approach towards debt is positive, there is a possibility that Gen Z is limiting their capabilities by avoiding it. They need to learn debt management and the right way to use items like credit cards. There is a part of the population that’s already comfortable, but the majority is still learning.

Almost Half Of Gen Zers Want To Be Homeowners In Just 5 Years

While millennials have been considered the generation of perpetual renters, it appears that Generation Z or Zoomers do not plan to follow in their footsteps. In a new study from Rocket Homes, 86.2% of Gen Zers ages 18-24 have their sights set on homeownership, while 45% of this group plan to own a home in 5 years’ time. If these emerging home buyers could achieve this, they would be between the ages of 23 years old and 29 years old when they buy a home. Despite their optimistic outlook, Gen Z is aware of potential challenges and is prepared to work hard to achieve their goals.

Zoomers Take Financial Responsibility Seriously

Financial responsibility is something older Gen Zers already seem keenly aware of. Of the respondents, 74.6% are routinely saving, with almost 10 percent specifically saving for a down payment. These Gen Zers are just entering the workforce and adulthood. The fact that they have already started saving bodes well for their continued financial well-being and preparation for homeownership. Additionally, those saving for an emergency fund (20.3%), those saving just to save (14.3%), and those saving to pay off debt (11.3%) are taking steps to put themselves in a better financial position earlier in life. This could set them up to be better able to purchase a home when they decide to.

Gen Zers Perceive Financial Challenges As Their Biggest Obstacle

The ambitious timeline for Gen Z home purchases may make their future look bright, but they are mindful that the journey will not be easy. When asked what would make buying a house the most difficult for them, 73.9% replied financial constraints, with:

  • 21.9% of this group does not feel they will have enough cash for a down payment

  • 18.4% do not believe they will be able to find a house in their price range

  • 16.1% of Generation Z is anxious about not having adequate credit

  • 10.5% worry about excessive student loan debt

  • 7% find the mortgage qualification process daunting

The 18.4% that cited difficulty finding a house in their price range may suggest that these individuals are aware of the supply constraints that have kept first-time homebuyers out of the market. At the same time though, it was discovered that 80.6% of Gen Z respondents underestimate how much it cost to purchase a home. As of June 2021, the median home in the U.S. costs $363,300 (St. Louis Federal Reserve). The average price Gen Z gave when asked what they thought their first home would cost was $223,468 – 38.5% below the actual median home value. While this relates back to Gen Z believing they won’t be able to find a house in their price range, it also brings up the need for further education and awareness around financing and housing costs that could help overcome financial challenges.

The good news is Gen Zers have choices to help them alleviate some of the problems ahead. Similar to their millennial predecessors, programs, and grants are available to make homeownership more affordable. An FHA Loan is a great loan option for young and first-time homebuyers who may not have as much saved for a down payment. Since Generation Z has such a strong desire to purchase a home, we can expect these resources to be in high demand when they are made aware of them.

How To Achieve Your Financial Goals as a Member of Gen Z

The first thing that Gen Z needs to do to make the most of their situation is to stay proactive. They should not be afraid to ask questions and look for positive influences they can draw from. Even research online during free time can yield many results that can improve financial literacy.

You also don’t need to pay anything to access them. YouTube has hundreds of videos from people who’ve built their reputation as financially savvy. There are also online courses you can take. There is no more financial barrier like how there was during their parents’ generation.

While it may seem like there is a sense of urgency when building up wealth, it’s something you have to do long-term. Many people fall into the trap of get-rich-quick schemes, only to lose more money and time than they should have. You’ll find that many of those who’ve succeeded have gone through simple and even mundane paths.

It all starts with a goal. What do you want to achieve financially? Some people are out to find stability. Others want to get savings or buy a high-ticket item. Whatever the case, learning will help you get the foundational principles that can affect how you use and view money.

It can lead you to unique opportunities and change your life. As long as you’re moving forward and staying diligent, you’re on a good path.

It’s a Steady Race

Not everyone can reach their financial goals fast, but it doesn’t matter. Comparing your situation with others can be easy, especially if you have the same interests. Regardless, not everyone starts on the same path and you shouldn’t allow your perception of them to affect your perception of yourself. Stay on your course and you’ll achieve your goals.

About the Author

Client Credit Report Authorization

You hereby authorize and instruct Debt Reduction Services, Inc. (DRS, dba Money Fit by DRS) and/or its assigned agents to:
  • Obtain and review your credit report, and
  • Request verifications of your income and rental history, and any other information deemed necessary for improving your housing situation (for example, verifying your annual property tax obligations and homeowner’s insurance fees)
Your credit report will be obtained from a credit reporting agency chosen by DRS. You understand and agree that DRS intends to use the credit report evaluate your financial readiness to purchase or rent a home and/or to engage in post-purchase counseling activities and not to grant credit. You understand you may ask any questions pertaining to your credit report. However, while DRS will review the information with you, the company is not able to furnish you with a copy of your credit profile. You hereby authorize DRS to share your information from your credit report and any information that you provided (including any computations and assessments produced) with the entities listed below to help DRS determine your viable financial options.
  • Banks
  • Counseling Agencies
  • Debt Collectors
  • Landlords
  • Lenders
  • Mortgage Servicers
  • Property Management Companies
  • Public Housing Authorities
  • Social Service Agencies
Entities such as mortgage lenders and/or counseling agencies may contact your DRS counselor to evaluate the options for which you may be eligible. In connection with such evaluation, you authorize the credit reporting and/or financial agencies to release information and cooperate with your DRS counselor. No information will be discussed about you with entities not directly involved in your efforts to improve your housing situation. You hereby authorize the release of your information to program monitoring organizations of DRS, including but not limited to, Federal, State, and nonprofit partners for program review, monitoring, auditing, research, and/or oversight purposes. In addition, you authorize DRS to have your credit report pulled two additional times to conduct program evaluations. You also agree to keep DRS informed of any changes in address, telephone number, job status, marital status, or other conditions which may affect your eligibility for a program you have applied for or a counseling service that you are seeking. Finally, you understand that you may revoke consent to these disclosures by notifying DRS in writing.

Client Privacy, Data Security, and Client Rights Policy

NOTE: This sheet is to inform new or returning clients about our services, records, fees, and limitations that may affect you as a consumer of our services. This form also discloses how we might release your information to other agencies and/or regulators. If you do not understand a statement, please ask a Debt Reduction Services (DRS) counselor for assistance.

Debt Reduction Services, Inc. (DRS) has put into place policies and procedures to protect the security and confidentiality of your nonpublic personal information. This notice explains our online information practices and how we use and maintain your information to conduct our financial education and credit counseling sessions and to fulfill information and question requests. This privacy policy complies with federal laws and regulations.

To provide our financial education and credit counseling services, we collect nonpublic personal information about you as follows: 1) Information we receive from you, 2) Information about your transactions with us or others, and 3) Information we receive from your creditors or a consumer reporting agency. We do not share this information with outside parties.

We use non-identifying and aggregate information to better design our website and services, but we do not disclose anything that could be used to identify you as an individual.

You hereby authorize DRS, when necessary, to share your nonpublic personal, financial, credit, and any information that you provided (including any computations and assessments produced) with the following entities in order to help DRS provide you with appropriate counseling or guide you to appropriate services: third parties such as government agencies, your lender(s), your creditor(s), and nonprofit housing-related and other financial agencies as permitted by law, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online. We limit access to your nonpublic personal information to our employees, contractors and agents who need such access to provide products or services to you or for other legitimate business purposes.

Debt Reduction Services, Inc. complies with the privacy requirements set forth in the HUD housing counseling agency handbook 7610.1 (05/2010), including the sections 2-2 Mc, 3-1 H(2), 3-3, 5-3 F, and Attachment A.5. At all times, we will comply with all additional laws and regulations to which we are subject regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of individually identifiable information.

  1. Services: DRS provides the following housing-related services: counseling that includes Homeless Assistance, Rental Topics, Pre-purchase/Homebuying, and Home Maintenance and Financial Management for Homeowners (Non-Delinquency Post-Purchase); Education courses that include Financial literacy (including home affordability, budgeting, and understanding use of credit), Predatory lending, loan scam or other fraud prevention, Fair housing, Rental topics, Pre-purchase homebuyer education, Non-delinquency post-purchase workshop (including home maintenance and/or financial management for homeowners), and other workshops not listed above.

Please refer to DebtReductionServices.org for details of our services.

  1. Limits: Our services are limited to our normal weekday business hours. We do not provide individual counseling or education services after hours or on weekends, although our education courses are available 24/7.
  2. Fees: We do not charge fees for our financial management counseling and education. However, if you use them, you may have to pay for our Debt Management Program, Student Loan Counseling, Bankruptcy Certificate Services or certain financial education courses (homebuyer education, rental topics, fair housing, predatory lending, and post-purchase-non-delinquency including home maintenance and/or financial management for homeowners).
  3. Records: We maintain records of the services you receive, including notes about your progress or other relevant information to your work with us. You have the right to access and view your records by making a request to your counselor.
  4. Confidentiality: We respect your privacy and offer our services in confidence with the understanding that we may share such information with auditors and government regulators. Certain laws or situations may also lead to disclosing confidential issues, such as those involving potential child abuse or neglect, threats to harm self or others, or court subpoenas.
  5. Refusal of Services: You have the right to refuse services without any penalty or loss.
  6. Disclosure of Policies and Practices: You will be provided our agency disclosure statement.
  7. Sharing of Information: Sometimes we will need to contact other agencies or we may need to share your information, including your records, with other agencies or with regulators. We will do this only if you sign this form that gives us permission except for limited reasons; please see # 5 above for examples of such situations.
  8. Other: You have the right to be treated with respect by our staff, and we expect the same from you in return. We encourage you to always ask questions if something is not clear. We also encouraged you to express your thoughts and advocate throughout our services.

You acknowledge that this authorization will remain in effect for the duration of time that DRS serves as your housing counselor or financial education provider. You also acknowledge that should you wish to terminate this authorization, you will notify DRS in writing.

Disclosure  Statement

NOTE: If you have an impairment, disability, language barrier, or otherwise require an alternative means of completing this form or accessing information about our counseling services, please communicate with your DRS representative about arranging alternative accommodations.

Program Disclosure Form

Disclosure to Client for HUD Housing Counseling Services

Debt Reduction Services, Inc. and its financial education arm, Money Fit by DRS, offer the following housing counseling and educational services related to housing, personal finance, and bankruptcy certificates to consumers:
  • Housing Education Courses: DRS offers many online self-guided education programs classified as Financial, Budgeting, and Credit Workshops (FBC), Fair Housing Pre-Purchase Education Workshops (FHW), Homelessness Prevention Workshops (HMW), Non-Delinquency Post Purchase Workshops (NDW), Predatory Lending Education Workshops (PLW), Pre-purchase Homebuyer Education Workshops (PPW), and Rental Housing Workshops (RHW). These courses help participants increase their knowledge of and skills in personal finance, including home affordability, budgeting, and understanding the use of credit, as well as predatory lending, loan scams, and other fraud prevention topics, fair housing, rental topics, pre-purchase homebuyer education, non-delinquency post-purchase topics including home maintenance and/or financial management for homeowners, homeless prevention workshop, and other workshops not listed above relating to personal finance and housing. Course details are found below under “Housing Workshops.”
  • Home Equity Conversation Mortgage (HECM) Counseling (RMC): Via telephone and virtual platforms, we offer the required HECM counseling nationwide in addition to in-person counseling in Boise, Idaho. We also offer in-home counseling options in thirty counties across southern Idaho for an additional fee to cover our travel and additional staff time costs.
  • Home Maintenance and Financial Management for Homeowners (Non-Delinquency Post-Purchase) (FBC): Clients receive counseling and materials on the proper maintenance of their home and mortgage refinancing. Clients can find help and resources by phone, in our Boise office, or virtually on all topics related to stabilizing their long-term homeownership.
  • Services for Homeless Counseling (HMC): Clients receive phone, virtual, or in-person (Boise) counseling to evaluate their current housing needs, identify barriers to and goals for housing stability, establish a path to self-sufficiency, and connect with emergency shelters, income-appropriate housing, and/or other community resources (e.g. mental healthcare, job training, transportation, etc.).
  • Pre-Purchase Counseling (PPC): Clients receive counseling through the entire homebuying process. Assistance may involve creating a sustainable household budget, understanding mortgage options, building their credit rating, and putting together a realistic action plan to set and achieve homeownership goals.  Additionally, clients will receive materials and resources about home inspections and other homeownership topics relevant to successfully maintaining a home.
  • Rental Housing Counseling (RHC): Via phone, in-person appointments (Boise, ID), or virtual platforms, clients receive housing counseling relevant to renting, including rent subsidies from HUD or other government and assistance programs. Topics can also address issues and concerns having to do with fair housing, landlord and tenant laws, lease terms, rent delinquency, household budgeting, and finding alternate housing.
DRS also offers the following services:
  • A Debt Management Program (DMP) for consumers struggling to pay their credit cards, collections, medical debts, personal loans, old utility bills, and past-due cell phone accounts;
  • The Budget Briefing and Debtor Education Certificates that are required during the Bankruptcy filing process;
  • A Student Loan Repayment Plan Counseling and application service.

Relationships with Industry Partners

Through such services, DRS has established financial relationships with hundreds of banks, credit unions, and creditors such as American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Credit One, Discover, Synchrony, US Bank, USAA, Wells Fargo, and others.

No Client Obligation

The client is not obligated to receive, purchase or utilize any other services offered by DRS or its exclusive partners to receive financial education or housing counseling services. Alternatives: As a condition of our counseling services, in alignment with meeting our client services goals, and in compliance with HUD’s Housing Counseling Program requirements, we may provide information on alternative services, programs, and products available to you, if applicable and known by our staff. Alternative DMP services include negotiating better repayment terms directly with your individual creditors, paying your debts as agreed, or, in extreme cases, filing for personal bankruptcy. Alternative credit and education services can be found through MyMoney.gov or the Jump$tart Clearinghouse of online financial education resources. Housing counseling alternatives can be found through HUD at www.hud.gov/findacounselor.
Finally, you understand that you may revoke consent to these disclosures by notifying DRS in writing.

Housing Counseling and Education Fee Schedule

 

Online Education Program Fees*

Homebuyer Education Course: $59 per participant

  • Self-paced course available here, our online housing counseling and education center. Certificates will be automatically generated upon completion of the course (approximately 6-8 hours)

RentalFair HousingPredatory Lending / HOEPAPost-Purchase (Non-delinquency post-purchase workshop, including home maintenance and/or financial management for homeowners) Online Workshops: $49 per participant

  • Approximately 1 hour each

Other Self-Guided Financial Literacy Webinars (e.g. creditbudgetinghomeless preventiondebt prevention): $0

One-on-one Counseling Fees*

Pre-purchase Homebuying Counseling, Rental Counseling, Post-purchase Ownership Maintenance and Financial Management: $75

  • Session by the hour

Reverse Mortgage/HECM Counseling with Required Certificate:

  • $200†

Credit Report Fee: Paid Directly by Client

*Fees for all but our online education courses and workshops can be paid online by debit card, credit card, or PayPal or in person by cash, check or money order to: “Debt Reduction Services, Inc.” Registration fees are non-refundable 24 hours or less before the start of an in-person course or workshop. Certificates are non-transferable

*Fees may be waived for households with income of 150% or less of that identified on the US Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines Page

†Home visit counseling is available in 30 southern Idaho counties for potential HECM borrowers at additional costs to cover our travel (IRS reimbursement rates apply) and staff time ($50 per hour or fraction there).

Housing Counseling and Education Fee Schedule

 

Online Education Program Fees*

Homebuyer Education Course: $59 per participant

  • Self-paced course available here, our online housing counseling and education center. Certificates will be automatically generated upon completion of the course (approximately 6-8 hours)

RentalFair HousingPredatory Lending / HOEPAPost-Purchase (Non-delinquency post-purchase workshop, including home maintenance and/or financial management for homeowners) Online Workshops: $49 per participant

  • Approximately 1 hour each

Other Self-Guided Financial Literacy Webinars (e.g. creditbudgetinghomeless preventiondebt prevention): $0

One-on-one Counseling Fees*

Pre-purchase Homebuying Counseling, Rental Counseling, Post-purchase Ownership Maintenance and Financial Management: $75

  • Session by the hour

Reverse Mortgage/HECM Counseling with Required Certificate:

  • $200†

Credit Report Fee: Paid Directly by Client

*Fees for all but our online education courses and workshops can be paid online by debit card, credit card, or PayPal or in person by cash, check or money order to: “Debt Reduction Services, Inc.” Registration fees are non-refundable 24 hours or less before the start of an in-person course or workshop. Certificates are non-transferable

*Fees may be waived for households with income of 150% or less of that identified on the US Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines Page

†Home visit counseling is available in 30 southern Idaho counties for potential HECM borrowers at additional costs to cover our travel (IRS reimbursement rates apply) and staff time ($50 per hour or fraction there).