4 Ways Gen Z is Getting More by Having Less
By Jessica Larson, SolopreneurJournal.com
You’re in your 20s and starting your adult life. How do you picture your adulthood? Does it involve a steady job? Will you go off to college? What about homeownership? If you’re even thinking about buying a home, there’s a good chance you’re older than 30.
People in their 20s don’t get excited about the idea of working 9 to 5 in a cubicle. Today’s Generation Z adults generally don’t concern themselves with paying off a mortgage or tackling credit cards. Many even skip college to avoid the sky-high debt that comes with student loans.
Here are a few of the Gen Z values that are replacing those of previous generations:
- Traveling and learning from new experiences instead of accumulating things
- Gaining knowledge independently online instead of going into debt for a conventional college education
- Refurbishing anything and everything (for example, that dream house!) instead of buying something new
- Choosing freedom and privacy over traditional roles and customs
- Being socially responsible instead of pursuing personal gratification
- Making financially responsible choices instead of spending money on status symbols
And here are some of the ways Gen Z’ers are living their values and realizing their dreams:
Gen Z is Smart About Buying a Home
Young adults who carry debt often have to wait until their 30s or 40s to buy or build a home. But this hasn’t stopped Gen Z from finding other ways to achieve this dream. Many of them are fixing up existing properties. By finding cheap homes in need of some work, young adults are cutting thousands of dollars off what they might otherwise have expected to pay. They’ve discovered they can save big by renting dumpsters, cleaning out old furnishings, and doing the rehab themselves.
College isn’t for Everyone
The traditional college path is becoming obsolete for Gen Z’ers. Many of them couldn’t afford to attend classes at a four-year university even if they wanted to. But thanks to advances in technology, independent learning has become an accessible, affordable alternative for this younger generation.
Members of Generation Z might carry several financial fears, but they’ve established a solid attitude toward money and financial responsibility. This year, Gen Zers will make up 40% of consumers. Three-quarters of them agree that college isn’t the only means to a successful career, and 22% are interested in going directly from high school to a trade or technical school.
Many career paths involve independent learning or trade programs. For example, students can begin their pursuit of a medical career by taking courses that lead to certification, such as CPR training. No matter what courses you want to take, make sure they are recognized by official entities, certifying boards, and employers.
Status Symbols are Losing Their Status
For Gen Z’ers, growing up no longer means striving to obtain status symbols. They’re more focused on saving money, avoiding debt, building a good credit score, and achieving overall financial responsibility. Perhaps they’re so financially savvy because they began thinking about financial planning at such a young age — around age 13, on average, around the time that many of them witnessed their families going through a serious recession.
A mind-boggling 35% of Generation Z students report that they already own a company or plan to own one. Not only does this generation think big, but they also work hard, with 77% of Gen Z adults earning income through multiple part-time jobs or freelance gigs.
And, as Gen Z comprises the first group who don’t know what the world was like without the internet, they’re incredibly advanced in harnessing the power of today’s new and ever-developing technologies, electronic devices, and software programs. Some are becoming millionaires before they even reach their 18th birthday.
Popularity isn’t as Popular as Privacy
Members of Gen Z prioritize privacy over popularity. Roughly two-thirds of them have adjusted their privacy settings on social media, and 87% say keeping posts private is more important than getting a bunch of likes and shares. Gen Z adults understand how simple it is to find out information about anyone online, so a lot of them choose to keep their personal lives off the internet as much as possible.
Gen Z members can continue to “get more by having less” if they hold to these prudent objectives as they press toward financial responsibility and freedom. For their vision and savvy, employers will do well to start recruiting Gen Z’ers into their workforces. So far, this generation is setting a great example for the ones that will follow.