Gen-Z is leading the way with their saving habits

Generation Z might be the youngest group of spenders, but they may actually be the best ones at saving.

You see, Gen-Z — those born between 1995 and 2012 — are in middle school, high school, college, and even a couple years into the workforce. While they may be our youngest generation, it looks like they have a lot to teach everyone else about how to save money.

Save more, save early

As they watched their parents suffer through a bad recession, Gen-Z is taking a different approach to saving money than older generations — they're planning to start sooner.

The National Society of High School Scholars found that 35% of Gen-Z members plan to start saving for retirement in their 20s. Another 10% are planning to save as teenagers.

Saving early and methodically making sure they have money well into their golden years is setting Gen-Z up for high career expectations. In the survey, 71% expect a solid work/life balance for a well-respected company that has proven value.

Less student loans, more free college cash

Not only does Gen-Z plan to work while in college, they expect to cover most college-related costs themselves. Almost half (49%) say they are contributing to their college tuition through personal savings. And 71% plan to pay for college with money they earn from working.

Their desire to work during school might be due to their feelings about earning their own keep. The survey found that 83% of respondents felt like they needed a job while in school.

Along with that, Gen-Z are looking for more economical ways to get a college education. Rave Reviews found that two-thirds of young people are planning to attend an in-state school to save on tuition. Almost 1 in 5 plan to live at home to save on housing costs. Millennials, though, were more interested in attending the best schools possible, even if they're too expensive.

Rave Reviews also found that teens are exploring career paths with job availability in mind. Top expected career paths are healthcare, science, and business.

In it for the long haul

With the instant gratification of the internet, it's easy to want something right away and be upset when you don't get it. But this doesn't apply to Gen-Z and their money.

Current, a debit card and app aimed at teens, found that almost 60% of their audience doesn't expect to hit their savings goals for a year or even longer. And they know this because 83% of teens are tracking their spending, keeping up on their income and goals.

Among the things teens are stashing money away for:

  • 26% are saving for a new phone or other electronic device
  • 17% are saving for their own cars
  • 11% are actively saving for college

Current also found that of the teens with active savings goals, 49% have a goal of $2,500 or more.

Gen-Z: the new savings teacher?

As generations before them suffered through a housing bust, the recession, and trillions of dollars in student loan debt, Gen-Z is proving to take their finances into their own hands. And there's no group better poised to take advantage of savings and investment vehicles like health savings accounts (HSAs).

They're saving earlier than generations before them, making long-term money goals, and becoming financially independent sooner. While still having big career aspirations, they're more conscious about making sure to find a job soon after college to avoid the burden of student loan debt. Even as teens and recent college grads, Generation Z is teaching everyone how to handle money.

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