Generation Z personal finance survey finds young adults eager to learn better money habits.

2 minute read

More than one-third of adult Gen Zers (ages 18 to 25) surveyed say they’re getting much of their financial education from TikTok and YouTube, according to a recent GOBankingRates survey.

For a generation that grew up on social media (and practically emerged from the womb already typing), it makes sense Gen Zers would seek personal finance advice from social media and other online sources.

According to the survey, Gen Zers have learned a lot from their online and social media personal finance research. Now, they’re applying that newfound knowledge to better saving, spending and investing practices.

Here’s a breakdown of the GOBankingRates survey results:

Social media tops the list for personal finance education

According to the survey, 38 percent of those surveyed say they pieced together personal finance knowledge from what they viewed or read on TikTok, YouTube and other social media platforms, including Twitter and Instagram.

Around 34 percent named TikTok and YouTube specifically as sources for their personal finance education. Other sources for Gen Zer’s personal finance knowledge include:

  • Parents and family: 22 percent
  • High school or college course: 17 percent
  • Online forums like Reddit or own personal research: 7 percent

Find out: TikTok is a Blessing and a Curse for Financial Advice

More than half of Gen Zers carry debt

While a 34 percent of Gen Zers surveyed say they don’t have any debt, many have at least some debt burden. Here’s the breakdown of how much debt survey respondents shoulder:

  • Less than $1,000: 13 percent
  • $1,000 to $4,999: 16 percent
  • $5,000 to $9,999: 10 percent
  • $10,000 to $24,999: 10 percent
  • $24,000 to $49,999: 6 percent
  • $50,000 to $74,999: 5 percent
  • Over $75,000: 3 percent

Gen Zers starting to invest

While 33 percent of Gen Zers say they don’t yet invest, 13 percent say they’ve  already started working on their investment portfolios and real estate purchases. Of those who invest:

  • 22 percent invest in stocks


  • Nearly one-fifth (19 percent) of those surveyed by GOBankingRates say they’re invested in real estate


  • 17 percent have invested in cryptocurrency


  • 16 percent contribute to a 401(k) or IRA


  • 12 percent invest in mutual funds


  • 11 percent invest in collectibles

Find out: 12 Ways Watching YouTube Videos can Save You Money

Many Gen Zers still count on mom and dad

Nearly half (49 percent) of Gen Zers surveyed say they’ve either “always lived with their parents” or “moved back home” during the pandemic. A bold 14 percent say they’ve flown the nest to strike out on their own financially.

Gender differences on Gen Z personal finance habits stand out

According to the GOBankingRates survey, men and. women of Generation Z have “significant differences” between genders when it comes to investing and learning about personal finance:

  • 26 percent of women vs. only 16 percent of men surveyed say they learned about personal finance from their parents or other family members.


  • More men (27 percent) preferred YouTube as a resource for financial information vs. only 12 percent of women


  • 36 percent of women vs. 31 percent of men have zero debt


  • The percentage of women who aren’t invested is 38 percent vs. only 25 percent of men who have no investments.


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About the Author

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp is a full-time freelance writer based in Kansas City, Mo. Deb went from being unable to get approved for a credit card or loan 20 years ago to having excellent credit today and becoming a homeowner. Deb learned her lessons about money the hard way. Now she wants to share them to help you pay down debt, fix your credit and quit being broke all the time. Deb's personal finance and credit articles have been published at Credit Karma and The Huffington Post.

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