Research Proposal

Financial Literacy and Gen Z


To determine the mindset, financial literacy, and pain points for Gen Z (those born 1995-2015). The response should include the following:
1. Best ways to engage and talk to Gen Z about finances;
2. Competitive analysis — how other financial services company are engaging Gen Z;
3. Ways of reaching Gen Z (gamification, animated videos, quizzes and tests, certifications);
4. Current Gen Z trends;
5. How to motivate and teach Gen Zers living at home, including how parents are directing them while working at home;
6. The Gen Z mindset;
7. Gen Z statistics around money;
8. Savings and spending habits; and
9. Ways to connect with Gen Z.

Early Findings

Gen Z Financial Literacy

  • Gen Z has a very clear stance on finance. Gen Z is made up of 2.6 billion people. By 2025, Gen Z will account for 29% of the world´s population.
  • In contrast to Milllennials, Gen Z has been interested in financial matters from a young age, with most having their first saving account and having started to save for college by age 10. By age 13, this generation has already started researching financial matters. 89% of Gen Z say they feel empowered by taking steps to secure their own financial future and stability.
  • The majority of studies on this population have concluded they are pragmatic, prefer to be financially secure and stable over being entrepreneurs, personal communication is valued, and use social media to build their own personal brands.
  • The following are considerations to be taken into account when marketing toward this generation:
    • 98% have a smartphone;
    • For 85%, social media is the way they learn about new products;
    • Almost 50% spend more than 10 hours a day in front of a screen;
    • 71% spend up to 3 hours daily watching videos;
    • Real people are preferred in advertisements by 67%;
    • They have an attention span of 8 seconds;
    • Cost is the primary factor when making a decision to purchase for 72%; and
    • 47% will use their smartphone to check prices or seek advice from family and friends while in a store.
  • Research by the American Psychological Association (APA) suggests that debts are a source of serious stress for this generation. This group's primary focus is on saving money; they worry about there financial future and avoid extravagant or unnecessary purchases.
  • Despite this, their financial knowledge is not as good as might be expected. 50% are unable to estimate their net value. 40% have never created or lived by a budget. 25% shop to feel better. Only 60% can cut expenditure when resources are low. A high proportion does not understand how inflation will impact their savings.
  • A survey conducted by Experi found only 19% felt they had a solid grasp on credit in general. There is also a significant variation in the knowledge set depending on household and education.
  • 61% have a checking account, while only 30% have a credit card. 22% have a student loan and 4% have an auto loan.
  • 49% find financial topics interesting, while 11% of Gen Z said they loved learning about them.
  • Only 36% had taken a class that discussed financial information while at school. Of those that had not taken a financial education class, 43% reported wanting to learn more on saving money, 38% wanted to learn how to manage expenses, and 36% would be interested in a class that explained how to file their taxes.


  • In our initial hour of research, we have begun to compile a picture regarding the financial literacy, attitudes, and behaviors of Gen Z. We have also determined that there is a considerable amount of information available in the public domain to address all aspects of this project.
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