For generation Z, life is (only) now

Studies show that a great number of youngsters prefer satisfaction now rather than long term achievements
25 de abril de 2024 em TINO In English
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A car, one’s own house, an apartment by the beach… Dreams like these still make the eyes of those that are generation Z youngsters (born between 1997 and 2010) shine, but making those dreams come true can seem so unattainable that many choose to forget them — and settle for a pair of sneakers from their favorite brand, a bag or the latest cell phone.

For a significant portion of this age group, whether to compensate for something that upset them, or to buy a product that their favorite influencer recommended, or because of the feeling that an extra bill won’t make a difference, the act of consumption is a priority and synonymous with immediate satisfaction.

This is what a recent survey shows, carried out with more than one thousand young people from generation Z in the United States. In the US, around 96% are concerned with the economy and its impact on the job market and the generation of income. This concern leads to anxiety and stress about their finances. As a form of compensation, 35% of those interviewed say they spend too much to obtain relief from this anguish and 30% fear they don’t have the money to pay for what makes them happy.

“Our tendency is to push away what brings us discomfort. To achieve this, we seek to overcome this annoyance in the short term, immediately, even if it costs us in the future”, says Ana Leoni, partner and co-founder of BEM Educação and creator of the Dinheiro Com Atitude project.

Many of those interviewed believe that their financial future is already doomed no matter what happens. For them, given the rising cost of living and unemployment, there is no way to change reality. Therefore, acquiring more debt will not have much of an impact on their finances. 

In Brazil it is the same

Here, the perspectives of this age group fluctuate depending on the age and purchasing power of each youngster, but in any scenario, according to Ana, the tendency to prioritize “now” is a reality. “What we have in common is the pressure from the environment, especially among younger people. Consumption is a means of union, identification and belonging. That’s why it’s so important to ‘possess’ and ‘consume’,” she says.

According to the report “Mensuração do letramento e da inclusão financeira”, “Measurement of financial literacy and inclusion” in English, released by the Central Bank of Brazil, around 32.9% of Brazilians aged between 16 and 24 say that they feel happier spending money rather than saving it for the long term. 

Economic fear also appears in the survey: more than 28.3% of young people are worried about how long their money will last and around 38.5% believe that, as a result of their financial situation, they will not have what they want in life.

“Owning a home or starting a family is so out of reach that we are using the money on everything that will give us the appearance of adulthood that we were promised,” says Maria Melchor, a content creator for Gen Z, in a video on TikTok.

Financial education is a good part of the dose of patience that this generation lacks. “We know that smoking is bad, but every day we have new smokers. Knowledge is important for people to be aware that everything depends on their choices”, says Ana.

In addition to knowledge, financial education helps develop behaviors and skills such as self-control, self-knowledge and self-responsibility, which help young people understand that their decisions shape the future.

Sources: Bando Central do Brasil, The Hustle, Credit karma and Bloomberg.

 Menina com celular. Foto criada por diana.grytsku -

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