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The shocking truth about Gen Z’s spending habits revealed

Cheerful young woman holding money banknotes and celebrating on a beige background
Cheerful young woman holding money banknotes and celebrating on a beige background

Coming of age amid inflation and the sky-high cost of college, many members of Gen Z say they’re struggling to make ends meet.

Others have been derided on TikTok for “doom spending” — splashing whatever money they have on spontaneous trips and treats with no thought for the future.

However, new research has revealed that there’s actually a shockingly high number of Zoomers savvily saving their dollars.

Cleo, an AI finance app, polled 750 members of Gen Z aged between 16-27 about their attitudes towards money, finding that almost three-quarters save some cash “regularly.”

More Gen Zers are saving money as popular online trends increase financial transparency and spending routines. MP Studio – stock.adobe.com
More Gen Zers are saving money as popular online trends increase financial transparency and spending routines. MP Studio – stock.adobe.com

A sizable 40% of those surveyed say they manage to put away money at least once a month, with about half of those saving for a big-ticket item such as a house or a car.

However, the Zoomers did admit that inflation had forced them to alter their spending and saving habits in the past two years. Per the poll, some 67% said they are prioritizing their money on food, given the rising cost of groceries.

It proves that inflation is affecting all demographics, with spending on fitness, fashion and travel trailing behind for members of Gen Z.

Per the poll, some 67% said they are prioritizing their money on food, given the rising cost of groceries. Spending on fashion has had to be curbed. rh2010 – stock.adobe.com
Per the poll, some 67% said they are prioritizing their money on food, given the rising cost of groceries. Spending on fashion has had to be curbed. rh2010 – stock.adobe.com

Meanwhile, a whopping 80% of Zoomers polled by Cleo claimed that “doom spending,” or reckless splurging, wasn’t a fully accurate representation of their generation’s money habits.

While many young Americans flaunt their fabulous lifestyles and opulent spending on TikTok — saying homeownership is “so out of reach” — the social media app is also full of financial advice videos encouraging youngsters to start saving and investing very early on.

This has possibly increased Gen Z’s financial literacy and could be partially responsible for the surprisingly high number of savers within the demographic.

However, a different survey from WalletHub published earlier this month revealed that, despite their savings practices, Gen Z is the least financially confident generation.

Despite being reported as the least financially confident generation, some Zoomers are still managing to invest in their future selves by saving. Suriya – stock.adobe.com
Despite being reported as the least financially confident generation, some Zoomers are still managing to invest in their future selves by saving. Suriya – stock.adobe.com

To mitigate that, a wealth of online trends have increased the honesty around spending.

Loud budgeting,” a trend marked by Zoomers lamenting their lack of dollars, has ushered in a new era of financial transparency among the generation, as people share their personal finance goals and budgeting strategies, even among their friends.

Now, when asked about dinner plans or Saturday night outings, Gen Z feels empowered to tell their pals they’d rather stay in and save, rather than sheepishly come up with an excuse.

Meanwhile, TikTokers have been sharing their “payday routines” online, breaking down exactly where their money goes when the direct deposit hits.