Despite widely available information and improved digital literacy, Generation Z lack financial literacy and confidence. We are expected to know more about it with the availability of information on the internet, but the amount of information out there is overwhelming, and we don’t know where to begin or who to trust.
The pressure to be financially literate is essential with recent occurrences like the pandemic or the cost of living crisis. But where do we find information on what to do, when we do not know where to start?
Where to start?
Investopedia explain that becoming financially literate can be achieved through:
Budgeting - Forbes rated the best budgeting apps, including ones that do and do not link to your bank account, perfect for those who do not want to share this kind of information.
Paying yourself first - having a savings goal.
Paying Bills on time - with online banking and debit payments it is easy to check and not forget about paying bills.
Checking your credit report - a free credit report can be requested from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
Where to go?
Once the above factors are considered, advice can be found for more specific things.
The information search has become much easier with the platform Tik Tok becoming the new search engine. Generation Z even use it as a source of health information: The top reasons include accessibility (37%), affordability (33%), and approachability (23%).
These reasons could explain why 58%, of the 1000 surveyed Generation Z, turn to Tik Tok creators (like Financielle, Poku Banks and more) for financial advice, as well as the fact that one-third feel that they only have a beginner's knowledge of financial management basics like paying taxes or borrowing and managing debt. The visual content enables short, easily digestible material that does not require long search efforts and most importantly, is free.
But it is important to be wary when using Tik Tok as a sole source of information, as no one is monitoring the validity of the advice given by Tik Tok creators and the generic advice given is not personalised to an Individual's financial situation, therefore it might not be the most suitable advice for you.
When more personalisation and risk is involved a financial advisor may be necessary. Citizen's advice can personally offer financial advice, but it also provides information on financial advisors, what to consider before seeking advice, what they should tell you, costs and when to/how to complain about financial advisors, as well as providing a free financial advice service, called Money Helper.
What to do?
With increased consumerism and hedonism, it may be hard to budget, but you do not need to sacrifice your wants to save up.
Here are just some of the most popular examples of ways to save up:
Discount apps like Unidays, Student Beans, Totum and Dig in are perfect for students looking for the best deals when purchasing food, clothing, technology and more.
Honey and Voucher codes finds the best discounts not just for students.
Too good to go, can help you save money when eating out, and helps with food waste.
Similar incentives are shared in Oddbox's article.
Skyscanner or Kayak can help you find cheap flights.
For the younger generation:
MyBnk deliver free or funded in person or online courses to help with young people's financial literacy in the UK.
Talk Money Week, on 6–10 November 2023, provides an opportunity for UK schools and colleges to improve financial awareness in young people by encouraging them to talk about it.
FinCap provides further examples of local financial education.
You could inform your educational institute of these to help with your own financial awareness.
For the older generation:
FinLiCo was a European wide project helping with adult's financial literacy and is now available in a handbook and toolbox, with information and exercises to help you practice your financial competency skills.
This website delivers resources and guides on financial literacy specific to an audience and topic category:
With increased information availability, comes the problem of misinformation being spread online, therefore it is important to fill the knowledge gap alongside different ways and from more credible sources. More educational institutions should implement financial education, but for people that no longer belong to these settings, similar educational resources should be offered to aid them in their financial literacy. Perhaps Workplaces should offer such education, to help their employees become more financially literate.