THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE MY DISCLOSURES. FOR MORE INFORMATION.
With each new generation, we expect a strong spirit of independence and desire to reject the norms of prior generations.
That is true for Gen Z, which has been fiercely forging its own path when it comes to rejecting boomer culture and values.
But while differences between Gen Z and previous generations have long been discussed in general terms, there are highly specific areas where these differences affect how our world looks today.
In this article, we’ll be diving into the details and looking at key pieces of wisdom that the Boomers embraced that is now being challenged by GenZers all over the globe.
From attitudes towards savings to climate change denialism, it’s high time to explore decipher what worldview separates Boomer-think from Gen Z-think!
#1. Focus on Money, Not Helping Humankind
Many Boomers who started businesses, focused on the bottom line and making as much money as possible.
But Gen Z has a different view.
The businesses they start are to help out as many people as possible, and making money is a side benefit.
2. Spending on Experiences
Many Boomers equate financial success with material possessions.
This is why so many have McMansions, luxury vehicles, and other things.
But Gen Z would rather spend their money on experiences.
They are fine with a tiny house and fitting all their possessions in a suitcase if it means they can travel frequently or do the things they enjoy.
3. Be Loyal to Companies You Do Business With
In the past, companies always offered discounts and deals for their most loyal customers. While you can still get special coupon codes for following brands on social media, if you don’t shop around, chances are you are overpaying.
Take your cable bill, for example. The monthly price goes higher all the time. Visit the cable provider’s website or watch a commercial on TV, and they promote amazing deals. There is only one catch: the deal is for new subscribers only.
The same applies to insurance companies. You think you are getting a great rate because you have been with them for years, but chances are you can get a much better rate by shopping insurance coverage.
No longer do companies value loyalty. Those that are publicly traded need to meet quarterly earnings goals, which means bringing in more revenue all the time.
The only way to fight back is to negotiate to get lower rates or switch companies constantly.
4. All Advice Learned in Their 20s
Boomers are known for sharing the advice they learned in their 20s to help the younger generation get by.
But many of the kids these days point out how drastically different the world is today and none of the advice applies today.
5. Combine Your Finances When Married
Getting married meant merging all aspects of your life, including finances. You would have a joint bank account from which you would deposit paychecks and pay bills.
While this worked great for the Baby Boomers, Gen Z doesn’t feel this is a smart strategy. It might be because the odds of divorce or financial infidelity are much higher today than in years past.
Or, it could be that people are waiting to marry, and when they do, they have significant assets they don’t want to merge.
No matter the reason, you will find it more likely that couples nowadays have separate and not joint finances.
6. Save Up and Pay in Cash
If you want something, you save up and pay cash for it.
Many Gen Zers shun this advice because things have become so expensive, it would take decades to save up enough cash.
7. Keep Spare Change in Your Car Just in Case
Growing up, it was customary to keep an extra $10 in your car, just in case. You may run out of gas or need to run into the store for something. That cash in your car wouldn’t be the end of the world if you forgot your wallet.
Today, you can go just about anywhere and still pay for things without your wallet. This is all thanks to smartwatches. With these watches, you can load your credit cards onto them and tap them on the credit card machine to pay.
You do not need to carry your wallet or purse with you everywhere you go.
8. Don’t Job Hop
Back in the day, it was common to get a job in your 20s and work there until you retired at 65. Upon retiring, your employer would give you a gold watch or some other gift as a token of appreciation for all your hard work.
In addition to this gift, however, was your employer taking care of you. They would offer you salary increases and not lay off thousands of workers when tough economic times hit.
But this is no longer the case today. Employers are not loyal to their employees.
In many cases, if an employee tries to be loyal, they will end up worse off financially because of low salary increases and the risk of getting let go at any time.
9. Cell Phones are a Waste of Money
When cell phones debuted, it made little financial sense to buy one. They were a convenience, and this convenience carried with it an added monthly cost.
Today, there are many cases where it is wiser to have a cell phone than to have a landline phone at home.
With a cell phone, you can get unlimited calling, including long-distance, call waiting, caller ID, unlimited text messages, and an allotment of data for $40 a month.
A landline phone with local service, caller ID, and call waiting will run you $75. And this doesn’t include long distance. To make this deal even worse, long distance isn’t calling another state.
It could mean calling someone a few towns over.
10. Put 20% Down When Buying a House
Years ago, it was customary to put down 20% when buying a house. Today, more people put down less than this amount. There are many reasons, but the most basic is that homes were much more affordable back then.
Putting 20% down on the average home price of $35,500 in 1973 meant you had to save $7,100. While incomes were much lower than today’s, housing was still more affordable.
The median income in 1973 was a little more than $12,000.
Today the median home price is over $467,000, while the median income is slightly more than $54,000.
11. Being Aggressive with Companies You Want to Work For
If you want to work for a company, you have to be proactive.
This means, not waiting for a position to open.
Instead, you go in and ask for a job, any job.
Or you spend your time there until they give you a job.
Many people say this advice is outdated as some of it could result in the company calling the police on you.
12. Renting is a Waste of Money
Homeownership has always been part of the American Dream. It is an asset that appreciates over time, and the equity plays a role in your future wealth.
Renting, on the other hand, does not build wealth. To be fair, it does not create wealth for you but for someone else. Because of this, many Boomers do not favor renting, seeing it as throwing money away every month.
But renting is sometimes a good thing. Renting is a smart move if you relocate to a new city for a job. You need to get a feel for the town before knowing where you want to live long-term.
Also, if you are unsure about your work, you want to avoid committing to a substantial monthly payment for 30 years.
Finally, there is the reality that many people cannot take the step to buy a house because it is so expensive. While renting will not increase your wealth, it is better to rent than to buy a home and be house rich, cash poor.
13. Savings Accounts are Great for Your Savings
Everyone needs an emergency fund, so they have money in case unexpected expenses arise. In the past, a savings account at your local bank was a great option.
You earned a competitive interest rate, so your savings grew over time. For the past 15 years, however, savings accounts have paid close to nothing in interest.
Even if you went for a high-yield online savings account, you were lucky to earn 1% interest.
While having an emergency fund is essential, you need to think outside the box to earn competitive interest rates. For example, Treasury Bills and Treasury Notes could be things to consider.
Some people even use their Roth IRA as an emergency fund.
If your finances are in good shape, consider keeping a small amount in a savings account and having the rest of your emergency money in a taxable brokerage account.
This will allow you to invest your money and earn a higher return, yet still have quick access to the money should you need it.
14. You Need to Go to College
To get a good-paying job, one needed a college degree. As a result, Boomers made education a top priority for their kids, hoping they get into a top college and earn a good salary.
The world has changed drastically in recent years, and the modern economy is full of opportunities for you to become self-made. Today, attending college is not necessary to earn an impressive salary.
Some of the highest-paid jobs require little to no formal education. From becoming a video game developer to running your own social media management business, the possibilities are endless for achieving success without a college degree.
With creativity and hard work, you can develop skills and knowledge that will equip you with the confidence to stay ahead of the competition, even if that means not attending college.
15. Cutting out Joys to Save $200 a Year
Talk to many older people and they will suggest that in order to make ends meet, you cut your spending.
Specifically on your daily coffee and other purchases that bring you joy.
The kicker: when you add up your “savings” for the year, it amounts to $200.
16. Use Travelers Checks When Overseas
When was the last time you saw a traveler’s check? For anyone under 50 years old, the answer is most likely never. But to the Baby Boomers, these were one of the safest options to pay for things when traveling overseas.
Today, credit cards rule the world. They are very safe, to the point that you are not responsible for paying fraudulent charges on your card. Many even waive foreign transaction fees, making them a cost-effective option.
If you are determined to travel with a travelers check, you can still get them, though it is more challenging than years ago.
17. Work Until You’re 65
In the past, everyone worked until 65.
At this age, you could retire and collect Social Security and pension and enjoy life.
But many in the younger generations don’t want to spend their entire life working.
The explosion of the FIRE movement, financial independence retire early is what many people now follow.
They want to leave working 9-5 behind and do things that make them happy.
Best States to Retire
While these were the worst states to retire, what are the best states?
Here are the ones with the highest quality of life, affordability, and access to healthcare.
Best Retirement Calculators
Are you confused trying to understand how much money you need for retirement?
You’re not alone. It can be a complicated process. The good news is there are some simple calculators to use to make figuring out your number easy.
How To Start Over Financially At 50
It can be difficult to start over financially at any age. But when you are 50, there is added pressure.
Not only do you have a limited number of working years left, but you also see how well others in your peer group are doing.
If you are starting over at 50, don’t give up hope. Here is how to drastically improve your finances.
Best Places to Get Quarters
Are you in need of quarters?
We all need change from time to time and with a more digital world, some people wonder where they can get them.
Here are the best places to get your hands on some quarters.
61 Fun Money Facts
Did you know there are places you can pay for things using a special local currency? Do you know why some coins have ridges on the sides? Discover over 60 fun money facts that you didn’t know.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.