14 Signs You’re Doing Better Financially Than the Average Member of Generation Z

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Discover the financial milestones that set you apart from the average zoomer.
Updated Feb. 21, 2024
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Members of Generation Z — affectionately known as “zoomers” — are just entering adulthood. Yet, many of them have already made impressive financial strides.

How do your money decisions compare to those of the Gen Z set? Check these common financial indicators to find out if your attempts to build wealth are keeping pace.

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You're saving more than 20% of your income for retirement

fizkes/Adobe woman reviewing bills using laptop

Gen Z is aggressively saving for retirement despite being decades away from that stage of life.

In fact, according to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, Gen Zers are socking away an impressive median of 20% of their salaries for retirement.

If you're managing to save even more, that's even better. Perhaps you'll even save enough to retire early.

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You have more than $29,000 in retirement savings

Nicholas Felix/peopleimages.com/Adobe Happy couple working on bills

According to the Transamerica Center, zoomers have a median of $29,000 in retirement savings.

The number might seem a bit low, but members of this generation haven’t had as much time as their millennial or Gen X counterparts to stash away extra cash for a nest egg.

If you're part of Gen Z and have more than $29,000 in retirement savings, you're off to a great start.

You own your own home

Zoran Zeremski/Adobe woman holding keys

Even though not all of them are old enough to buy a home, 30% of 25-year-olds in 2022 had managed to purchase one, according to Redfin.

That is up from 28% of millennials and 27% of Gen Xers at the same age.

The fact that so many zoomers have bought homes in such a tough housing market is remarkable.

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You have a health savings account

Mia B/peopleimages.com/Adobe woman and doctor with plaster

Not all Gen Zers qualify for a health savings account (HSA), but 48% of those who do are taking advantage of this tax-savings vehicle to reduce medical costs.

Given that this type of account offers significant tax advantages, contributing to an HSA aligns with Gen Z’s aggressive retirement savings strategy.

You’re diversifying your income

Vasyl/Adobe asian female artist vlogger

Even though most Gen Zers were toddlers or not yet born during the Great Recession, they've seen mass layoffs from a pandemic and, more recently, rampant inflation.

As such, many members of Gen Z — around 40%, according to a survey from consulting firm EY — have taken up a side hustle to reduce their reliance on one employer. That seems like a wise financial move, given the current volatile market.

You have less than $24,473 in student loan debt

fizkes/Adobe woman doing paperwork

Young Gen Z whippersnappers have learned a thing or two about student loans from their debt-burdened predecessors.

According to credit-reporting agency TransUnion, zoomers are keeping their student loan balances relatively low, owing an average of $24,473.

If your student loan balance is lower, you’re doing better than your peers — and most members of other generations.

You have an emergency fund

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe couple with money and calculator

According to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, Gen Zers' median emergency savings is a mere $1,000.

That amount won’t go very far in most emergencies. If you’ve managed to sock away more than that for a rainy day, you’re better off than most of your generational counterparts.

You're pursuing a college degree

Xavier Lorenzo/Adobe indian student taking notes

Only about 59% of Gen Z is pursuing a higher education, according to the marketing platform Gitnux.

Whether you go for a bachelor’s degree at a university, an associate degree at a community college, or a trade certification, education, and specialized skills usually lead to increased earnings over a person’s lifetime.

Deciding to further your education is a key step to building wealth.

Your net worth is greater than $183,500

Jeff Bergen/peopleimages.com/Adobe affectionate young couple

Your net worth is all of your assets minus your liabilities, such as a house, cash, and retirement accounts.

According to the latest Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances, the average net worth of someone 35 and younger is $183,500.

Of course, some people with a lot of money skew that average higher. Still, consider yourself on the right path if you've amassed more than that.

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You have a credit score above 679

Andrey Popov/Adobe online credit score ranking

According to data from Experian, the average FICO score of a Gen Zer is 679. This is considered good but not great by most lenders. And it's just barely in the "good" range.

Zoomers have some work to do to improve their credit standing. If you score above this level, you'll likely be offered better interest rates and more favorable loan terms than most zoomers.

You earn more than $37,300 per year

fizkes/Adobe woman manages household budget

Most Gen Zers are getting ready for a career or just starting one. So, their earnings are still low — around $37,300 per year, according to a GOBankingRates analysis.

If you’re already earning more than this, congratulations.

You live on your own

ViDi Studio/Adobe drinking coffee while reading book

Given the rise in housing prices, many Gen Zers can’t afford rent or a mortgage, and 31% of adult Gen Zers still live with their parents or a family member.’

So, if you’re already out on your own, you’re ahead of the game compared to many Gen Zers.

You’re building up savings

KMPZZZ/Adobe girl putting stack of coins on table

According to a Deloitte survey, more than half of Gen Z (51%) live paycheck to paycheck.

Members of Gen Z who have moved beyond this point and now have money left over each month are in a much better place than their cohorts.

You have less than $2,282 in credit card debt

Daisy Daisy/Adobe College student looking at credit card

The average person between 18 and 25 has $2,282 in credit card debt, according to data from McKinsey & Co. If your debt is less than this, pat yourself on the back.

If you are struggling to keep on top of your spending, make this the year you crush your debt so you can begin to save more.

Bottom line

mrmohock/Adobe real estate agent worker

If you find that you fall short of any of these financial barometers, don’t despair: Members of Gen Z are still in their teens and 20s, so there is plenty of time to catch up and get ahead financially.

Ultimately, progress toward your financial goals is more important than keeping up with any generation.

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Author Details

Jenni Sisson Jenni Sisson is a freelance writer and editor who focuses on personal finance, real estate, and entrepreneurship. She has been published in Business Insider and The Ways to Wealth. In addition to writing, Jenni hosts the Mama's Money Map podcast to help fellow stay-at-home moms on their journey to financial freedom.

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