Why building wealth is not the only goal for Gen Z

They view financial stability as a catalyst for personal growth and the pursuit of meaningful experiences

Gen Z prioritise being informed about their personal finances and recognise that it empowers them to make informed decisions. Getty
Powered by automated translation

Generation Z, the unconventional cohort born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, has firmly placed the concept of financial freedom at the forefront of their desires.

The idea of having control over your finances and the ability to make choices that align with your dreams and goals has never been more important to a group than now.

In recent years, discussions around achieving economic independence have gained significant traction among youth and have affected their career and life aspirations.

The reasons behind this shift in mindset are multifaceted and reveal Gen Z’s willingness to challenge the status quo.

When I was starting out, there was much more emphasis on following traditional career paths, and it was frowned upon to try anything different.

This was emphasised even more for women trying alternative career paths – something that I felt the need to shrug off when trying to launch a business in technology as an Arab woman.

These days, Gen Z are seeking a more balanced and purpose-driven approach to life – I admire that.

Personal growth vs growing wealth

I have witnessed the evolution of a new mindset when it comes to finances.

Gen Z no longer views financial stability as merely a means to an end but rather as a catalyst for personal growth, self-fulfillment, and the pursuit of meaningful experiences.

They prioritise being informed about their personal finances and recognise that it empowers them to make informed decisions and shape their own destinies.

Unlike my generation, Gen Z is ready to challenge the traditional career narrative. They are aware that conforming to societal expectations can stifle their individuality and hinder their pursuit of genuine fulfilment.

Hence, they strive to find a balance between enjoying the present and making life’s important moments special without constantly stressing about money.

Social media and technology

Social media has certainly played a significant role in shaping their aspirations. Platforms such as Instagram and YouTube showcase stories of individuals who have achieved financial independence, demonstrating that success is no longer limited to conventional career paths.

These narratives inspire them to explore alternative avenues and embrace entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.

Alongside evidence of successful young entrepreneurs, technology has revolutionised their financial landscape.

Gen Z now has access to more and more digital tools and investment platforms that previous generations were not privy to, providing them with unprecedented control over their financial lives.

They can use these technological advancements to monitor spending, spread the cost of payments into instalments, plan for the future and gain a deeper understanding of their personal finances.

In short, the democratisation of financial information through digital platforms has empowered Gen Z to navigate the complexities of money management with greater confidence.

Moreover, Gen Z is demanding innovative digital financial services, challenging traditional banking institutions with their uptake of alternative financial solutions.

It is important to remember that alternative financial solutions exist to help them better manage finances rather than allowing them to overspend.

Implications for society

The importance of financial freedom among Gen Z has far-reaching consequences for society as a whole.

As youth gain greater control over their finances, they become drivers of economic resilience and innovation.

Financially empowered Gen Z can make conscious choices that prioritise their passions, support social causes and contribute positively to their communities.

The growing emphasis on financial freedom among Gen Z reflects a drive for personal growth, self-fulfillment and the pursuit of meaningful experiences.

They reject the notion that financial stability should come at the expense of their dreams and individuality.

Instead, they value innovation, financial education and access to alternative financial solutions.

Ibtissam Ouassif is co-founder and chief product officer of cashew Payments

Updated: June 16, 2023, 5:00 AM