Stress often comes from worrying about things in the future that you can’t influence. This is how many Gen Z Canadians are feeling about their financial situation, Leger data shows.
As Generation Z enters the workforce and takes on “financial firsts” like groceries, rent, and savings, Hill+Knowlton research commissioned by Interac suggests they are more likely to feel stressed (42%), anxious (37%) and overwhelmed (31%) than any other generation when it comes to their economic reality.
Most Gen Z respondents agree inflation and the cost of everyday essentials are two external factors influencing their ability to manage finances. Although it’s not just Gen Z.
Year-over-year, Interac transaction data shows an increase in the number of transactions with Interac Debit at grocery stores and supermarkets as average basket sizes have decreased. This suggests consumers are transacting more frequently, with smaller basket sizes, perhaps to lessen budget strain.
Likewise, discount merchants are seeing greater transaction growth than their premium counterparts, suggesting Canadians are shifting where and how they spend to stretch their dollars further.
Regardless, Gen Z is more likely to frequently use debit, at 70%, compared to 55% of non Gen Z Canadians polled, as they adjust how they manage everyday spending.
“While we are seeing the economic environment shape purchasing decisions, essential spending continues and consumers are leaning on their own money as evidenced by the year-over-year growth in Interac Debit and Interac e-Transfer (11%) volumes,” stated William Keliehor, Chief Commercial Officer, Interac Corp. “In times of uncertainty, debit remains an empowering tool to help Canadians of all generations, including Gen Z, stay in charge of their finances.”
While older Canadians stick with traditional sources for financial advice, such as advisors, Gen Zs were found most likely to seek out support from their immediate network like older family members (73%), siblings or cousins (20%) and friends (21%).
They’re also more likely to associate an emotional connection to their finances than Boomers.
“As Gen Z navigates many financial firsts, we have a vested interest in understanding their spending behaviours and financial mindset so we can better deliver the experiences and resources they crave,” says Daria Hill, Vice President, Marketing & Communications at Interac Corp. “This generation is bringing a different perspective to their finances—one that demands next-generation financial literacy resources in line with their values and realities.”
These “next-generation financial literacy resources” include Mindfulness & Money programming in partnership with Conscious Economics. Rooted in the concept of “financial therapy,” the program aims to help break down some of the barriers Gen Zs face to feel in control of their money and build their financial confidence.
Taking control of your first financial milestones can be stressful, especially amid today’s rising costs and other economic pressures, says Aseel El-Baba, Conscious Economics’ in-house Financial Therapist. Learning healthy money habits and how to manage the feelings that come with navigating your finances can help you make better financial decisions, reach your financial goals and feel better all around.
“We know there’s an opportunity to revitalize financial advice for younger generations and it starts with the concept of mindfulness,” said El-Baba. “While traditional financial advice plays a role for any generation, Gen Zs are seeking out emotional support to feel more in control of their financial reality. They need peer-to-peer bonds, guidance from trusted friends and new tools to focus on controlling what they can.”
It may not feel natural to strike up a conversation about money with friends, but it can change the way you relate to money.
That’s some of the advice the program offers, alongside finding a community to connect on finances to “help you realize you’re not in this alone.”
Conscious Economics is a national not-for-profit organization and global social enterprise headquartered in Canada, with a 10-year history in economic education, financial literacy programs, and experiential learning.