Generation Z- also known as Zoomers, are categorised by being born between 1990-early 2010, and are characterised by our highly charismatic, self-reliant, and pragmatic attitudes. Our lives have also always had access to technology that can make our lives easier, resulting in stereotypes that we are “lazy” and “coddled”, but why is this? Boomers often discuss gen z as lazy due to our dependence (and use of) digital technology and social media from a young age, as it contrasts to the independence they have had. Stereotypes about Gen z have dominated social media in recent years- with the most popular relating to Gen z choosing to buy avocados and iced coffee instead of getting on the property ladder- but the problem here is not to do with ageism between generations, and is more to do with money.
So what actually is going on with the economy?
Since the pandemic hit in 2020, the economy has both boomed and tanked many times, with economic growth for 2024 expecting to be 2.8% lower than the pre-pandemic-prediction accoridng to the IMF,2021. Alongside this, Peoples spending habits have massively changed, and so have careers and lifestyles, with a move to working from home for some big companies. One thing every generation is facing now is the cost-of-living crisis. Charity funded services such as citizens advice have warned that a third of uk adults are £20 away from falling into a crisis- for more, see CAB,2023-whilst also noting that 47% of people of colour would be impacted by this. One look at CABs page on TikTok showed posts about payment grants from the government to help with bills such as the cold weather grant and explaining rising interest rates, all whilst utilising trends populated and influential to gen z and therefore creating content targeting towards them.
The trust the public have for the British government has plummeted- but is this to do with an ever-changing tory government who a lettuce outlasted? from the daily star,2022! or poor advice from officials who say we should ‘learn to cook’ or rent out annexes of houses we don’t have?
Martin lewis' rise to being more googled than Taylor swift (yes- seriously!)
Along with the increased worrying figures surrounding the cost-of-living crisis from citizens advice, the use of Money experts such as martin Lewis has increased hugely, with over 16 million people visiting his site a month. Martin Lewis dominates the money saving-scene, making appearances on popular shows such as This Morning and having his own hit show on ITV. Seven months before the EU referendum, Lewis’ information about Europe had him trusted by 71% of the uk- putting him ahead of any other public figure- and more than the prime minister at the time.
The money saving expert team have always had guides such as the money makeover guide, and tips on how to budget that are useful-but the cost of living crisis has pushed money saving expert Martin Lewis to say that he is out of tools to help people, and reiterates that even comparing now to the 2008 crash, and the covid 19 pandemic - this is the worst position he has ever been in. He discusses how his inbox used to be filled with questions choosing between the pub or the hairdresser, however, now is filled with questions asking if people should eat or heat their homes.
Whilst the news discusses our politicians spending millions whilst millions use food banks, it can be hard to be hopeful when budgeting, spending, or saving. Apps such as Monese and Snoop have been recommended by Forbes for how helpful they are. Monese allows you to group transactions and set budgeting goals, all whilst being Linked to your actual bank account for ease, Snoop on the other hand tracks your money across accounts and provide solutions through showing offers whilst highlighting anything alarming that requires attention. Alongside this, if you're looking to reduce food expenses, apps such as olio and too good to go are incredible (myself- I have eaten Pret for £4 for a week because of this!). Recipe boxes such as hello fresh and gusto are a good way to plan meals and leftovers, whilst also offering free boxes with no subscription/cancellation fee!
Alongside this, being worries about money constantly can have a huge toll on our mental health. 66% of therapists cite cost of living concerns as negatively impacting peoples mental health. If you need help, Citizens advice offer amazing free advice surrounding most issues, along with non-judgemental debt advisors a phone call away. If the cost of living crisis is impacting your mental health, Samaritans offer a safe place to talk about any worries, and if you’re in need of more help, a therapist can help. As its as important- now more than ever- to look after ourselves and our well-being.