Unveiling the financial priorities of Millennials and Gen Zs

Despite differences in financial status, both share some similarities in financial priorities and management practices


Millennials and Gen Z face unique financial challenges and opportunities shaped by a myriad of factors including economic conditions, technological advancements, and a global outbreak.

Millennials, born roughly between 1981 and 1996, are characterized by higher levels of income compared to Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, due to more years in the workforce. They are more focused on growing their money to secure their future. Even though most of them are still dealing with loan debts, they still take financial risks but with equal protection. Gen Z, on the other hand, prioritizes mental health and is still at an earlier stage in their financial journey. Despite differences in financial status, both share some similarities in financial priorities and management practices.


Savings and necessities first

Based on the studies by Lambert, et. al., (2023) on factors affecting financial well-being of millennials and Mei (2023) on financial behaviors of Gen Z, Millennials and Gen Zers are now taking more proactive steps toward achieving financial security and mental wellness. Necessities and utilities take precedence in the financial planning of both generations, reflecting a pragmatic approach to budgeting and spending in an uncertain economic environment. In terms of saving, millennials give more significance to growing and saving money for retirement than Gen Z.

“Whenever I get my paycheck, I really allot a portion for my savings and utility fees first before I purchase something for myself so when I retire, I will have enough money to live,” said Gino, 32, employee and freelance trainer.

Gen Zers invest more on their mental health and consider this as a necessity, hence doing more of soft-saving or putting less money for the future and using more of it for the present to enjoy life.

Take Jamie, a 24-year-old entry level employee, for example. When asked about what she prioritizes during paydays, she emphasized doing something for herself after paying bills.  “After I pay my bills I always make sure that I do something to take care of myself first, like go to a spa, or sometimes, relax with my friends at a beach because I believe that we work to live, not live to work,” she said.

Millennials prioritize their health and well-being by opting for Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) to safeguard against unexpected medical expenses and ensure access to quality healthcare.


Investment opportunities

A shared ambition among Millennials and Gen Z is the desire to invest in a business venture, driven by the aspiration to be financially independent and have other sources of income.

“I want to make money until I can invest in the stock market. I’ve just learned about it and I’m really interested in investing. In here, I’ll know my hard-earned money will go to something that will be more valuable overtime,” Clayde, 22, fresh graduate.

According to a study by Investopedia in 2022, 64 percent of millennials are investing their money, with the most popular choice being cryptocurrency. One-third of millennials are investing in crypto, while stocks come in as the next most popular investment option. On the other hand, 26 percent of Gen Z who have already invested, have invested in the stock market. However, this generation still has so much to learn and are willing to address this gap by maximizing the use of the internet to gain financial knowledge. 


Credit habits

For personal needs and wants, credit cards play a crucial role in the financial toolkit of Millennials and Gen Z. The younger generation tends to appreciate the sense of security, convenience, and flexibility in managing expenses that credit cards offer. With responsible debt management, they leverage credit cards to cover personal wants and emergency expenses while maximizing rewards and cashback benefits.

A case in point, Jason, a 28-year-old professional, utilizes his credit card when making big purchases online like gadgets, equipment, appliances, or even travel tickets. “What I like about using credit cards most are the rewards and cashbacks I get whenever I purchase something. But I also make sure that I practice responsible credit card usage, like, I don’t swipe if I know I cannot pay for it by the end of the month,” he said.

In the situation of a Gen Z junior professional, Don, he said that he uses credit cards because of its convenience, easy tracking of expenses, and because he wants to build a good credit score which he can use for his future loans.

Banks like HSBC offer benefits and tailored credit card solutions that cater to the needs of Millennials and Gen Z. But when looking for a credit card companion, one must make sure that it offers more - this may include enticing promotions such as waived annual fees and cash credit raffles, providing added value and financial incentives. 

HSBC stands out with its waived annual fees that ensure cardholders can enjoy these perks without straining their budgets or worrying about hidden costs. This can be experienced by and is open to new-to-bank customers who apply online for a primary HSBC Red Mastercard or HSBC Gold Visa Cash Back Credit Card during the promotional period. More to this, newly approved cardholders will be privileged to get an e-raffle entry that can make them one of the two lucky winners of the P1 Million Cash Credit raffle promo.

Maximize the financial perks and endless possibilities now with HSBC Gold and Red Credit cards. Visit the HSBC website today to apply.

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