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Financial considerations… for the generations

By Finbar Garcia


Money management is very important, but at times, a difficult topic to deal with.

Firstly, I want to focus on the different ‘generations’ that exist in today’s world and see what may be causing these issues with money management.

Between 1901 to present, and going all the way to 2025, there will be seven different generations, but  the main changes came from the last three generations {see illustration}.

These last three generations are from 1981 to present and will go up to 2025 as mentioned: Millennials, Generation Z also known as ‘Gen Zs’, and Generation Alpha.

Having these groups of persons focus on money management is what I really want to get at. To better understand this, we need to step back a bit to a particular generation before.

This one is considered the biggest of them in terms of population, the ‘Baby Boomers’. These persons were caught between taking care of their children and ageing parents, while trying to take care of themselves. This created some serious financial issues and other financial decisions that were made during the years. The result, they, the ‘Boomers’ did not properly plan for their retirement. What also compounded the situation, is that there is a large population of persons that entered retirement and others just behind with little savings to carry them through, and this is having a negative impact on Social Services, like NIS pension and Old Age Grants.

This generation spent most of their money on their family and securing home ownership, along with other assets, but not enough on retirement.

Now, looking at the more recent generations, those between 1981 to present, these individuals are more exposed to opportunities that were not present or limited to the generations before.

This has caused a shift in spending habits and if not properly managed, will affect them later in their lives. These are just a few of the statistics and facts of Millennials.

  • Millennials spend more daily than any other generation.
  • They do 54 per cent of their shopping online.
  • 48 per cent spend money they didn’t have, just to keep up with friends.
  • They prefer to spend on experiences rather than on things they desire.
  • This generation earns more than generations before.
  • They spend more money on food and drink away from home.

The bottom line is Millennials face a set of challenges, primarily heavy debt, that will only be truly understood in hindsight. The future of this generation may even be more uncertain in some respects, than previous generations.

Their ability to succeed financially will depend on some factors from both economic and political conditions at the time.

Some of these individuals still live with their parents, may be depending on generational wealth, but it will become harder for them to acquire their own home the longer they procrastinate.

The younger Millennials tend to use mobile wallets – applications built on to their smart phones that they use to purchase items. These store both debit and credit cards, along with reward coupons. Depending on the age, they may have multiple mobile wallets.

The spending habits of these generations varied over the years, based on their ages. For example, the Baby Boomers, the younger ones, ages 55-64 will spend an average of US$178 per day, while the older ‘Boomers’ spend an average of US$135 per day. Millennials spend an average of US$208 per day. These are based on a US survey on spending habits.

Now, Gen Z can be affected by the opinions of influencers, and they also look at their peers for shopping ideas. While they do shop online, they look for data privacy and discounts. This will motivate them to continue shopping in that manner, as they also embrace technology that promotes this type of shopping.

A point to note, while they shop online, they spend more on sustainable products. This generation is also very active on YouTube and Instagram running a close second, so this is where advertisements are placed to capture this generation.

Don’t be fooled though, as this generation saves some money, putting away some to purchase their first home, which makes sense for this demographic to prioritise home ownership as important.

So, what are their spending patterns like? A large percentage of them spend on household bills, next will be clothing and accessories including mobile phones, then entertainment and last will be food/eating out.

Outside of shopping, this generation has strong values related to racial justice and sustainability. They also focus on global climate change and can become activists for these causes.

Some of the characteristics of this generation are they’re: money driven, love to travel, set their boundaries, avid gamers, and use social media in a unique way.

With all of this, they prefer a better quality of life than extra money in the bank. They say, they will be better off than their parents.

Now, as life changes, you need to be more serious and concerned about your investments and savings regardless of which generation you belong to. So, continue to make those adjustments to your budget and increase your contributions towards your retirement, as your generation will quickly be overtaken by another one.

In next month’s column, I will write on the Alpha Generation and what’s coming next.


“He who pursues virtue and kindness shall find life and honour too.” – Prov 21:21


Call me for more information on planning your financial future. Send your questions to myfinancialadvisor2020@gmail.com or call 620-1185.

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay