Zoomers Managing Tough Economy in Creative Ways


Generation Z adults, many of whom are just now entering the workforce as young doctors, lawyers, architects, and fresh college grads, are discovering new ways to handle the challenges of inflation, a volatile stock market, and a weak job market. Zoomers, as they’re officially called by demographers, are people born between about 1997 and 2012. In 2023, the oldest Z’s are over the age of 25 and as young as 11.

Dealing with High Prices

Huge numbers of Zoomers are finishing high school and college this year, while the elder bunch are already working or are just completing professional medical, legal, or other kinds of training. As the economy continues to face global and domestic setbacks in the form of supply chain slowdowns, rising prices, expensive borrowing, and skyrocketing rents, millions of Gen Z adults are learning to cope with financial scenarios worse than their parents ever faced.

Leveraging the Power of Crypto

Working people who are in their late teens and early twenties have grown up in the cryptocurrency era, where assets like bitcoin and ethereum are as commonplace as real estate, dollars, and precious metals. The recent surge in social investing via smartphone apps is one of the most transformational trends of the decade.

The typical Zoomer is more likely to own crypto than not, and many use the alt currency to transact online, and in-person purchases daily. With leading cryptos like bitcoin and litecoin enduring wild price swings, as well as a recent crash, holders of the newfangled money are in a precarious financial situation. More than any generation before them, Z’s are susceptible to the vicissitudes of digital money’s inherent instability.

Getting Loans for College

Recent Federal Reserve actions have sent the cost of borrowing skyward. As the year reaches its midpoint, millions of young adults are discovering that paying for a college education is nearly as difficult as earning good grades and making it to graduation day with their sanity and credit ratings intact. Zoomers are increasingly turning to private student loans as a remedy for the high price of four-year collegiate programs.

Fortunately for this young crowd of Gen Z students, applying for private financial help is simple, and the terms are still reasonable. In 2023, few families will have enough savings to cover a child’s tuition and other school-related expenses. That’s where private loans can fill in the gaps and get applicants the money they need to earn a diploma.

Waiting to Buy a First Home

The 2023 real estate market is not a friendly place for twenty-somethings. Rents are higher than ever, and the average price of a small home is at record levels. The result for recent college graduates is the decision to delay owning property of their own. That means renting for several years before saving enough to make a down payment on a modest house. First-time buyers, as a demographic in the 2020s, are becoming rarer with each passing month.

Working Two Jobs

Holding down two jobs might not be the most creative tactic for surviving a decade fraught with economic woes, but it’s a time-tested hack that delivers predictable results. One reason today’s younger professionals are so stressed is that many of them put in a full day at the office and then head home to an online job that takes up their evening hours. Fortunately, those who toil at double duty usually do so on a temporary basis to meet a specific goal, like paying down credit cards, purchasing a new car, or saving for a first home.

Staying in School Longer

One of the hallmarks of the recent change in personal behavior among people born after 1997 is delay, in the form of delayed marriage, careers, and many other milestones. As inflation continues to take a more significant bite out of paychecks and good jobs become scarcer, members of the Z generation are choosing to stay in school longer.

Large numbers of college grads are choosing to go straight to law school, get MBAs, or tackle doctorate coursework. Delayed graduation can mean being better equipped to land good jobs, especially if those doing the looking hold advanced degrees in their specialties. The tactic is one way Gen Z are handling the varied challenges of the modern world.

Living with Older Parents

Since the early 2000s, people in their twenties have been living at home longer than any previous generation did. The social stigma of the arrangement has all but evaporated as grown adults live with their aging parents to save money, work on their careers, and put off buying a first home.

In some cases, it’s the parents who are financially dependent on their children, particularly as the cost of assisted living has reached stratospheric levels. Whatever the reason, the latest development in multi-adult households features parents who are past middle age and their grown children sharing living space.

-In collaboration with Drew Allen

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