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Over Half of All Gen Zers Think Small Daily Purchases Impact Their Financial Security: Study

A woman drinking coffee

If you’re a Gen Zer or a millennial, chances are you’ve been told over and over again that — if you want to save up for a house or your retirement — you need to stop spending money on things such as a cup of coffee or avocado toast. Well, it turns out, over half of Gen Z – 53 per cent – believes that making small daily purchases such as your fave Starbucks drink will have a long-term impact on their finances, according to a new study. Millennials feel pretty much the same, with 52 per cent reporting they also believed small purchases were having an impact.

The data comes from Northwestern Mutual’s 2022 Planning & Progress Study and was conducted with Harris Poll. Based on a sample of almost 2,500 people, the research examined feelings around finances and happiness, wellness and more.

The report also found that 66 per cent of Gen Z and millennials feel anxious about their finances.

Related: Stressed about finances? Welcome to mindful money meditation.

There’s cause for young people to feel that they should be saving money right now: inflation is high and expenses such as student loans, rent and other costs are adding up. If this sounds anxiety-inducing, that’s because it is – the report also found that 66 per cent of Gen Z and millennials feel anxious about their finances.

Being stressed about money isn’t uncommon, and the data also pointed out that people who have a financial advisor or see themselves as being disciplined with their finances reported that they felt happier and were able to sleep better than those who did not.

Related: 10 bad money management habits you need to break in 2022.

“Regardless of age, the goal is to have clarity on what you will need in order to enjoy the things that make you happy in life – from the simple pleasures such as a daily cup of coffee to the larger milestones like a comfortable retirement, and everything in between,” said Christian Mitchell, executive vice president & chief customer officer at Northwestern Mutual.

So if you’re anxious about spending $5 on a cup of coffee, remember that it is OK to treat yourself every now and then. And if you’re looking to find other ways to save money, it might be time to explore options such as cash stuffing or looking at what stocks you might want to invest in, instead of denying yourself your favourite latte.


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