What Were You Thinking? 16 Key Money Skills Gen Z Lacks Because Their Gen X Parents Never Taught Them


With Gen Z entering the adult world and making their own financial decisions, it’s important to consider some of the money skills that they may lack as a result of not being taught by their Gen X parents. 

From understanding budgeting basics to building credit responsibly, there are a few key areas where those born between 1994 and 2010 may need additional guidance in order to make wise and informed financial choices. 

Today, we’ll explore why this is an issue, what money mistakes Gen Z could be at risk of falling victim to without parental advice, and how everyone, from parents and teachers to advisers, can give relevant money education for young adults today.

#1. Fast Cash Isn’t A Good Idea

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Payday loans are high-interest, short-term loans that can quickly spiral out of control if not managed properly. 

Unfortunately, many young adults are unaware that payday loans can not only have fees and high-interest rates but also result in legal consequences if payments aren’t made. 

#2. Credit Cards Aren’t Money

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Credit cards can be a dangerous temptation for young adults who are new to dealing with money.

The allure of having lots of cash available and buying things on credit without the repercussions of paying them off in full at once can mean that some Gen Zers end up building debt, not wealth.

It is important to remember that credit card debt builds over time if it is not managed properly, and this can have long-term consequences in the form of higher interest payments.

#3. Compound Interest

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Not many people understand the power of compound interest, including Gen Z.

They think that earning a few pennies of interest on their savings is pointless.

But what they fail to realize is that as your savings balance increases, the amount of interest you earn also increases too.

It’s why Einstein reportedly called compound interest the eighth wonder of the world.

#4. Up Your Game

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Finally, a frugal living enthusiast writes that you should learn how to get the items you need at a good price. Note what items are worth paying more for and those you can get at the dollar store.

There are events you may need to pay for, but others you can attend for free. Put some effort into spending less and saving more.

They recommend reading the book, Your Money or Your Life for tips on frugal living.

#5. Investing When Young is Critical

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Too many people don’t think about or even start investing until they are much older.

The problem with this is you miss out on the most important thing you have as an advantage: time.

With more time for your money to compound and grow, the sooner you start investing, the better.

This is true even if it’s only $10 a month.

#6. Debt Impacts Your Entire Life

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Debt is trouble, not just on your finances.

It bleeds over into your personal life too, adding stress and complications.

Having debt makes doing anything more challenging, and in some cases, you have to miss out.

This is why it is critical to avoid or limit debt as much as possible.

#7. Don’t Spend Money on Compost Fodder

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You always think you’re saving money while buying in bulk, but you may be buying manure. A prudent spender states you should stick to shelf-stable foods when shopping in bulk.

Buy what you can reasonably prep and eat before it spoils.

When they were younger, they thought they were saving money by buying three packs of strawberries for five dollars instead of one for three dollars.

They couldn’t go through the three packs since they were only two people. Instead of saving money, they spent two more dollars on compost fodder.

#8. Think Before You Buy

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Can you count the unnecessary things you’ve bought after payment comes in? According to one, you should evaluate whether you need something before purchasing.

If it falls outside your necessities, wait twenty-four hours before buying it.

#9. There’s Food at Home

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Anyone who grew up in a household where money was tight has heard the above statement more than they’d like.

A money saver indicates you should cancel your Uber Eats, DoorDash, Starbucks, or other eating-out arrangements. Instead, cook all your meals at home.

#10. Track Every Cent You Spend

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A responder endorses creating a budget where you note all your expenses against how much you make each month.

Categorize your expenses into mandatory living, fixed mandatory living, and fluctuating optional expenses.

Mandatory expenses include food, gas, and clothing; fixed mandatory expenses include phone bills, rent, and car payments, while fluctuating optional expenses are frivolous.

#11. Pay Your Credit Card Before It’s Due

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How often do you pay your credit card? An individual recommends paying your card off every week or on payday, even if it auto pays.

This way, you are not surprised by the total. They add that you should only buy something with your card if you can afford it in cash.

#12. Build Mental Awareness

Sad man looking at his wallet with money dollar banknotes flying out away
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Using cards to make payments reinforces the idea of bottomless cash. Another budgeter says using physical cash and envelopes system enforces the idea that you’re losing something.

A physical exchange makes you aware of what spending means.

#13. You Don’t Need to Go Out to Have Fun

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Many people think that in order to have fun, you have to go out.

But you can have just as much, if not more fun, staying in.

You can watch movies, play board games, charades, or even have a potluck dinner.

What makes this even better is that after a few times doing this, you will see a positive impact on your finances.

#14. Consider Savings as a Bill 

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One person proposes setting up a separate savings account. Then, you can save automatically whenever your payment checks in.

Ensuring it’s not connected to your checking account limits access and the temptation to dip into your savings. Save and forget about it. You’ll feel great after accumulating a considerable amount.

#15. Think About the Total Price

Pensive and frustrated young businessman in the office trying to make a purchase in an online store, uses a laptop holding a bank credit card
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Countless users caution that lenders make you focus on the monthly payments to obscure the exorbitant total cost.

One person recounts how they made monthly payments for a car and were close to paying the total amount.

The bank sent them a letter saying they could skip monthly payments for the next month at a fee.

This would accrue more interest, which they’d have to pay, but the bank presented it as a kind gesture. They used the pre-paid mailer to send a handwritten note declining the offer. The bank had to pay for the postage.

#16. Prepare for a Rainy Day

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Life is unpredictable, and you can never prepare enough for an emergency. However, having an emergency fund makes it easier to navigate such times.

A commenter suggests having a minimum of a thousand dollars in your emergency fund. It’s ideal to have three to six months of expenses covered. If you can afford one year, that’s safer.

This money will help you avoid depending on loans and credit cards on a rainy day.

Adulting 101

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Growing up is part of life. Sadly, most schools don’t teach personal finance, so adulting when it comes to money can be complicated.

Luckily, here is a guide to adulting so you can more easily figure things out, without making major mistakes.

The Ultimate Guide To Adulting 101

Steps To Building Wealth

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We all want to have enough money that our finances are no longer a stress in our lives.

But with so much financial advice out there, building wealth seems impossible. Not any more. Here are the simple steps you need to take.


How To Move Out With No Money Or A Job

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Are you looking to change your situation and move but you don’t have any money?

Or worse, do you also not have a job? You might think your goal is hopeless, but it’s not. Here are the steps you need to take.


How To Save Like A Millionaire

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Many of us save some money which helps us to be able to retire one day and enjoy a better life.

But what if you knew how to save like a millionaire? Knowing this could help you to become wealthier than you can imagine.


Legit Ways To Make $1,000 Fast

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Are you in need of cash fast? There are many things you can do, but a lot of the ideas out there only allow for a limited income.

Here are over 25 great ways to make up to $1,000 in a short amount of time.


This thread inspired this post.

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