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Money on Their Minds: Gen Z Builds Savings, Focuses on Finances Coming Out of Pandemic

By Katherine Doherty

Adult members of Generation Z, a group raised on the internet and social media apps, are more focused on savings and gaining financial literacy coming out of the pandemic.

That’s the takeaway from a Bank of America Corp. survey that found 70 percent of the group added to their savings in the past year, while 26 percent contributed to a retirement account and 26 percent invested in the market. Despite challenges brought on the pandemic, more than two thirds of those polled between the ages of 18 to 24 remain optimistic about their financial future. 

“This generation is self-motivated, adopting financial behaviors that set them up for a positive future,” Christine Channels, head of community banking and client protection at Bank of America, said in an interview. The group is also more likely to talk about finances and “open up about what they do or do not know.”

Gen Z men and women sought financial education despite a lack of access in their schools and communities growing up, survey results show. A third of the polled population rate their financial knowledge as low, and 40 percent of that group say they don’t know where to start learning about finances and were never offered a course in school. Most say they learned about finances at home or from their family. 

The generation born from 1997 to 2012 have been shaped by major events such as the coronavirus pandemic, as well as technological advances including the rise of social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat.

They are knowledgeable about basic financial concepts, including savings and budgeting, but less so about financial preparation, such as investing, saving for retirement and buying a home, study results show. Gen Z women feel they know more about building credit, but are also more likely to cite debt as a barrier to financial success compared to men.  

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