CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Gen Z is
emerging from the pandemic with a greater focus on saving,
financial independence, gathering life experiences, and seeking
financial education many were without access to in their schools
and communities growing up. This is according to new
research published today by Bank of America's Better Money
Habits exploring what this generation (ages 18 to 24) view as
their greatest financial barriers, and how they are taking charge
of their financial lives.
"As Gen Z gets started financially and professionally, we see a
great deal of motivation and positive steps toward building a solid
financial foundation," said Christine Channels, Head of Community
Banking and Client Protection at Bank of America. "At the same
time, an unmistakable need for more financial education persists
among this generation. Through our Better Money Habits platform,
we're committed to connecting these young adults to a wide range of
resources and guidance to help them develop financial know-how, and
navigate barriers to achieving their goals."
Key findings from the research include:
- Over the past year, 80% of Gen Zers have taken one or more
positive financial actions. Among which, 70% added to savings, 29%
mapped out financial goals, 26% contributed to a retirement
account, and 26% invested in the market.
- Despite financial and other pandemic-related challenges, 68%
remain optimistic about their financial future. Nearly 70% also say
the pandemic influenced their financial priorities, including a
greater focus on saving for future goals (33%) and living a more
frugal lifestyle (19%).
- Half (49%) describe themselves as fully or mostly financially
independent. Among the half still fully (14%) or mostly (36%)
dependent on their parents financially, 24% are prioritizing
becoming financially independent.
- Today, Gen Z views their greatest barriers to financial success
as insufficient income to achieve financial goals (46%), lack of
job stability (23%) and being unable to save (21%). When asked
about the most stressful financial aspects of their lives, Gen Z
cites not being able to afford the life they want (37%), lack of
emergency savings (33%), student loan debt (22%), health care costs
(17%) and simply making it to their next paycheck (11%).
- One-third (34%) of Gen Z rate their financial knowledge as low,
among whom 40% say they don't even know where to start learning
about finances. A significant portion of Gen Z (40%) also say they
were never offered a financial education course in school.
- Much of Gen Z feels knowledgeable about basic financial
concepts – including saving (85%), managing money (82%) and
budgeting (77%). However, their knowledge levels decrease
significantly when it comes to topics that can be critical to a
more secure financial future, including saving for retirement
(38%), investing (30%) and buying a home (26%).
- When asked where they learned about finances, only 33% said in
school (K-12 and/or college). Most learned at home or from their
family (75%), while 39% were self-taught, 20% learned from friends
and peers and 13% from a financial professional.
The research also explored the role of race, ethnicity and
gender in access to financial education and opportunities,
Black/African American Gen Z more likely to be financially
independent, cite starting a business in their definition of
- 59% of Gen Z in this community identify as mostly or fully
financially independent – compared to 47% of non-Black/African
American Gen Z. They also cited greater knowledge of several
financial topics, including filing taxes (59% vs. 39%), saving for
retirement (44% vs. 37%) and purchasing a home (41% vs. 24%).
- 66% carry debt, and of those that use credit cards, 44% have
accrued credit card debt – more than non-Black/African American Gen
Z (51% and 21%, respectively) – and are nearly twice as likely to
cite debt as a barrier to financial success (30% vs. 17%).
- Black/African American Gen Z are nearly 6x more likely to
include starting a business in their definition of success (17% vs.
3%), and 2x as likely to cite starting or growing a business as top
priority for the year ahead (16% vs. 8%).
Hispanic Gen Z highlight greater gaps in financial education,
see homeownership as success
- Nearly half (48%) of Hispanic Gen Z say they were never offered
a financial education class in school – more so than non-Hispanic
Gen Z (37%). This community is less likely to feel knowledgeable
about building credit (56% vs. 63%), saving for retirement (34% vs.
40%) and filing taxes (28% vs. 45%).
- They are more likely to cite lower income (52% vs. 44%) and job
stability (31% vs. 20%) among their top barriers to financial
- Homeownership is especially important to this community: 39%
define financial success as owning a home, compared to 26% of
non-Hispanic Gen Z.
Gen Z women face financial knowledge and investing gaps, but
are more likely to be taking steps toward financial
- The gender investing gap persists in younger generations: Gen Z
women are less likely to feel knowledgeable about investing (22%
compared to 37% of men) and less likely to have invested in the
market over the last year (17% vs. 25%). They also feel less
knowledgeable about managing debt (56% vs. 66%) and saving for
retirement (35% vs. 41%).
- Gen Z women feel more knowledgeable about building credit (66%
vs. 57%), however they are also more likely to cite debt as a
barrier to financial success (23% vs. 14%). In fact, 36% have at
least $5,000 of debt compared to 28%
of men – which may be contributing to the fact that more women are
prioritizing paying down debt in the year ahead than men (23% vs.
- Gen Z women were, however, more likely than men to have taken
positive financial actions over the last year (82% vs. 78%).
Positive actions among Gen Z women taking them include contributing
to savings (76% vs. 63%), openly discussing money with family,
friends or colleagues (63% vs. 48%), sticking to a budget (27% vs.
21%) and seeking guidance on managing finances (25% vs. 16%).
"As a company and as a society, it is critical that we address
the financial education and opportunity gaps that persist across
the communities of young adults we serve," said Alberto Garofalo, Community Banking &
Development executive at Bank of America. "This research is another
step in our commitment to fully understanding the unique needs and
priorities of diverse communities, so we can provide the resources
and guidance to empower everyone on their journey to financial
Better Money Habits®
As Gen Z prioritizes better money habits, they continue to seek
advice and guidance as they look to take control of their finances
and plan the future. Bank of America's Better Money
Habits platform offers free financial education content and
tools that break down financial topics in ways that are
approachable and easy to understand. The platform connects people
at all life stages to relevant tools that help build know-how to
help them take action toward their financial goals. It also
includes specific resources catered to Gen Z and young adults,
covering topics including budgeting, building credit, borrowing,
investing and more. We continually look for ways to expand the
reach of Better Money Habits and also offer Spanish language
resources on the site.
The study was conducted August 12
– September 7, 2021, by Ipsos in
English and is based on nationally representative probability
samples of 1,024 general population adults (age 18 or older), and a
partially overlapping sample of 635 Gen Z adults (age 18-24),
including 28 Gen Z adults from a non-probability sample. This
survey was conducted primarily using the Ipsos KnowledgePanel®, the
largest and most well-established online probability-based panel
that is representative of the adult US population. Panelists are
scientifically recruited into this invitation-only panel via postal
mailings to a random selection of residential addresses. To ensure
that non-internet households are included, Ipsos provides access to
a tablet and internet connection to those who need them. Because of
this probability-based sampling approach, KnowledgePanel findings
can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to
the general population. The margin of sampling error for the
general population sample is +/- 3.3 percentage points at the 95
percent confidence level.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial
institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market
businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking,
investing, asset management and other financial and risk management
products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience
in the United States, serving
approximately 66 million consumer and small business clients with
approximately 4,200 retail financial centers, approximately 17,000
ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with approximately 41
million active users, including approximately 32 million mobile
users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management,
corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range
of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions
and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers
industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business
households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online
products and services. The company serves clients through
operations across the United
States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank
of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York
For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements
and other important information, visit the Bank of
America newsroom and register for news email alerts.
Reporters May Contact:
Betty Riess, Bank of America
View original content to download
SOURCE Bank of America Corporation