Financial Literacy: Key Concepts Every Zoommer Should Know

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Alright, let's talk about Generation Z, or as we like to call them, the Zoomers. These people, born between 1997 and 2012, are all about conquering the financial world in the 21st century. They have got some killer ideas, and they are going global, thanks to the power of social media. There are Zoomer teens who are even able to earn some big bucks. But here's the kicker: can they actually handle all that money responsibly? Zoomers are getting into their first jobs and making their first money moves, and they are a big part of the business world and the global economy. We want to support Zoomers, the newbies in the financial world. So, today, we are sharing key financial concepts for Zoomers from Payday Depot money experts. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends, and let's help them get financially wise for the greater good.


Why Financial Literacy Matters for Generation Z

So, Zoomers make whole different types of customers. They've grown up with tech in their hands, which sets them apart, especially in how they deal with money matters. They've got big dreams when it comes to investments, but their basic financial knowledge is often not enough.

Zoomers have seen their parents, the Gen X, go through financial turmoil during economic downturns. Previous generations had their share of money misconceptions from their own financial roller coasters. But here's the good news: a study by Bank of America Corp says over two-thirds of 18 to 24-year-olds are still hopeful about their money future, despite the pandemic and other roadblocks.

As a Zoomer, you may face one of these two major issues:


Issue #1: Not Enough Money Smarts 

Many Zoomers are already working, but their money knowledge might not be sufficient. They're getting most of their financial wisdom from their parents and family, even though about a third of them rate their financial knowledge as low. Plus, 40% of them don't even know where to start learning about money.

Issue #2: Budgeting 

Some Zoomers understand saving and budgeting, but they're not quite successful with investing and saving money for big expenses. A recent survey found that 27% of Zoomers want to retire by 50, but they don't realize that the stock market today is overhyped, and there’s a high probability it won’t deliver that sweet 6% annual return they're hoping for.

It’s obvious that Zoomers need to understand some essential stuff that sets the groundwork for a solid financial future. So let’s break down the basics of financial literacy, making sure every Zoomer has the know-how to make smart money moves.


Setting Financial Goals

Setting personal money goals means figuring out what you want to do with your cash and making a plan to handle it. Studies say that setting goals helps you actually get stuff done.

Everyone's got their own reasons for setting and reaching goals, thanks to their unique situations. When you're deciding on goals, it's good to use the SMART technique, which means making goals that are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Time-bound. Your money goals should be clear and easy to measure. Like, say, cutting your monthly spending in half — that's a doable goal!


Budgeting and Money Management

Putting together a personal budget can really simplify and improve your day-to-day life. When you keep an eye on your money coming in and going out, and you divide it up wisely, you open the door to living a better life and reaching financial freedom. It gives you the possibility to have a more comfortable and stress-free existence.

Getting a handle on your money starts with being real about how much cash you're bringing in. That means all the cash you're raking in, whether it's from your job, investments, or any other income sources. To build an effective budget, you need to make sure you've got every dollar you make accounted for. But don't spend everything you've earned. Try to set aside at least a small percentage. To do this, assess your expenses and find some that you can eliminate without affecting your usual way of life.


Debt and Healthy Credit Score

It's crucial to learn how to handle your money and credit wisely to keep your finances in good shape. For instance, using a credit card smartly can be a great way to build and keep a good credit score. Just use it for your planned expenses, make sure to pay off the whole balance every month, so you don't get charged interest, and don't go over 30% of your credit limit.

Now, let's talk about good debt and bad debt. Good debt, like a mortgage or a student loan, can be seen as an investment that could pay off in the long run. Bad debt, on the other hand, is when you rack up high-interest credit card debt for unnecessary things — that can mess up your financial progress. When you borrow money, always make sure you can handle your mortgage payments, even if interest rates go up by 5%.


The Magic of Money's Time Value

Financial smarts go beyond just knowing the money basics. It's all about getting how money is always on the move and how its value changes over time. Inflation is like that sneaky thief that keeps stealing your money's buying power. So, the money you have today will be worth only half of what it is in just over a decade.

In everyday terms, we've all felt the squeeze from inflation, especially when times are tough, like during the pandemic. Our weekly grocery bills shoot up, and the cost of stuff we need goes through the roof, leaving us with less for our hard-earned buck. To build a secure financial future and grow your wealth, you’ve got to take a smart and proactive approach.


A Few Words About Savings 

Some people think that saving money makes you give up all the good stuff. But truth be told, constantly depriving yourself of whatever you fancy at the moment can mess up your money game. On the flip side, saving not only opens up more possibilities but also brings some peace of mind. Having a financial cushion means you're not constantly stressing about unexpected expenses or sudden financial setbacks.

If you haven't got yourself an emergency fund yet, it's time to start building one. Think of it as your personal safety net. Aim to stash away enough to cover three, and even better, six months of living expenses. Your emergency fund will prevent you from going into debt in situations like losing a job, a dip in income, or a shortage of extra cash. 

A most common way of saving money is to sock away 10–15% of your paycheck each month for a nice cash stash. You can kick off with less if that feels more you spend. If your whole paycheck vanishes into bills and such, 10% might be a stretch. The trick is to learn the art of saving without downsizing your good times, especially if you're working with a modest income.

Start with putting away 1-5% of your salary — keeping it light makes forming the habit a breeze. Slowly crank up the dial. As the paychecks get fatter, beef up your savings game.


Investment Management

Knowing your way around investments means understanding different types of assets and how they can help your money flourish over time. Speaking of assets, stocks, and shares are like the MVPs in the long game. Real estate is another option with loads of potential. Some people have even embraced the idea of using 'other people's money' like Robert Kiyosaki preaches. 

Figure out for how long you can invest your cash without freaking out about needing it ASAP. Once you've got that sorted, pick the investment that suits you best, whether it's a short-term or a long-term thing.

Remember, investing is all about looking ahead, not dwelling on the past. Just because something was a hit in the past doesn't mean it's a guaranteed win in the future. The world keeps changing, so focus on where the action is heading, not where it's been.


Pro Tips

- Fixed vs. Flexible Expenses: Split your spending into two groups. The first group is stuff like rent or mortgage that doesn't change much. The second group is things like going out or hobbies, which can vary. Knowing the difference helps you prioritize your spending.

- Emergency Fund: Don't forget to stash away some cash for emergencies. This should be enough to cover 3–6 months of living expenses. Think of it as your financial safety net for unexpected surprises.

- Automatic Savings: Make saving a no-brainer by setting up automatic transfers to your savings or investment accounts right when you get paid. It's like paying yourself first.

- Budget Apps and Tools: There are tons of apps and software out there that can make budgeting a breeze. They can connect to your bank accounts and cards to help you track your spending and income without much effort.

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