Survey says Gen Z Is embracing new spending habits, living situations

The age span for Gen Z — late teens through mid-20s — coincides with some major life changes and the responsibilities that accompany them, such as moving into their first place, buying their own essentials. and earning and managing their money.

As the Numerator survey “Zooming in on Gen Z Buyers” noted, within a three-month period, about one-fifth of 18- to 20-year-olds changed jobs, moved to a new address and got a pet. Among those ages 21 to 23, one-fourth changed jobs, and 18 percent moved.

By the time Gen Z reached ages 24 to 26, 73 percent were claiming financial independence. And even among younger Gen Zs, more than half — 53 percent — of those 18 to 20 said their primary income source was a paycheck. That number increased with age: 64 percent for 21- to 23-year-olds and 72 percent for those ages 24 to 26.

Their living situations changed dramatically as they matured as well. While 15 percent of those 18 to 20 said they were living with a spouse or partner in their home, nearly half — 47 percent — of those 24 to 26 made that claim. And about one-fifth — 19 percent — of the oldest Gen Zs lived alone in their own home.

The survey also showed that as Gen Z members aged, they altered their spending preferences.

Money spent on the home and garden category was the second-highest spend in 2022 after health and beauty for all Gen Zers, no matter their age group. The oldest cohort spent $982 on home and garden during 2022. Spending then stepped down to $751 for those ages 21 to 23 and dropped to $548 for the 18-to-20 group.

But it isn’t just about spending. Efforts to save money rose as well as Gen Z matured, the survey showed. More than half — 55 percent — of the oldest Gen Z group said they bought cheaper brands and products vs. 53 percent for the 21-to-23 group and 49 percent for the youngest Gen Zers.

The oldest within Gen Z also were most likely to delay a larger purchase: 38 percent vs. 34 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

Numerator’s Gen Z report was based on a survey of 1,600 Gen Z consumers combined with the verified shopping behaviors of more than 5,000 Gen Z buyers.

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