Finances are a major concern for seven in ten Gen Zs (68 per cent), more than any other age group (57 per cent of non-Gen Zs), according to new research released by ASIC’s Moneysmart program. 

The release comes amid the launch of a new consumer awareness campaign by Moneysmart to show Gen Z how quickly they can learn money basics and build positive financial habits. 

Faced with rising cost of living, the research found 82 per cent of Australian Gen Zs (aged from 18 to 26) feel financially stressed but are twice as likely as other generations to want to better manage their finances as a response. 

Encouragingly, nine in ten Gen Zs have a strong desire and intent to boost their money skills and financial confidence, despite facing several barriers. Almost half (49 per cent) of Gen Zs who are not financially confident say feeling overwhelmed is the biggest barrier to becoming more secure with money, followed closely by not knowing where to start (42 per cent). 

The research also revealed that Gen Zs want to learn things in the shortest time possible (77 per cent) and are twice as likely as other generations to turn to social media for information and guidance about managing their finances (56 per cent compared to 23 per cent of non-Gen Zs). 

The research also reveals that, on average, Gen Zs have higher levels of personal debt and greater reliance on credit products than other generations. 

Other research findings include: 

  • Gen Zs have an average personal debt of $8,188 compared to non-Gen Zs ($6,730). 
  • One in five (21 per cent, or the equivalent of 600,000) have $10,000 or more in personal debt, including 4 per cent (or the equivalent of 124,000) who have $50,000 or more. 
  • One in four (25 per cent, or the equivalent of 720,000) have less than $1,000 in savings, including 8 per cent (or the equivalent of 217,000) who have no savings. 
  • Gen Zs are also more likely than non-Gen Zs to use Buy Now Pay Later products (28 per cent compared to 21 per cent of non-Gen Zs). 
  • BNPL use is also higher in regional Australia, where one in three (34 per cent) Gen Zs use BNPL products compared to one in four (26 per cent) in metro areas. 
  • In response to cost-of-living pressures, Gen Zs are also considering getting a new or additional job (39 per cent). 

Join the discussion