Gen Z and Personal Finances

By Selena Garrison, M.S.

Four Young people sitting on the grass
Photo by Sharefaith on Pexels

As the youngest generation of Service members, those who are part of Generation Z (Gen Z) have unique life experiences that impact their financial understanding and may present learning opportunities for Personal Financial Managers (PFMs). Born between 1997 and 2015, the oldest Gen Z Service members are currently 24 years old. Some unique characteristics of Gen Z Service members that are important for PFMs to understand include: 

  • Availability of Technology. Gen Z Service members have never known a world without computers or cell phones and have had access to internet technology since even the oldest were infants. For example, they have always had the opportunity to manage their finances via apps and make purchases with the click of a button, so regularly writing checks or maintaining a check register may be foreign concepts.
  • Access to Social Media. Social media has been widely available since the oldest Gen Z Service members were in elementary school.  Gen Z utilizes social media heavily in consuming media (including financial information), communicating, gaming, and sharing content. Discover which social networks are most used by them in our Gen Z webinar on January 25.
  • Historical Context. Gen Z Service members may have no memory of the 9/11 terrorist attacks or a time the U.S. was not at war. In addition, their generational attitude towards money have been shaped largely by the global recession of 2008, as their childhoods were influenced by their parents’ financial circumstances. 

For more on understanding Gen Z Service members and helping them navigate their finances, join us for our webinar on January 25.

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