Gen Z teens suffer savings woes

Gen Z teens suffer savings woes

Jack Han reports on Generation Z’s saving dilemmas.

December 1, 2009

Generation Z have started to worry about their own financial future, with most opening savings accounts to prepare for expenses that they will face in adulthood, according to a new report. This has drawn a surprising contrast with Generation Y, whose savings history is riddled with debts.

Credit file bureau Veda Advantage and teen researcher Habbo, found that one in five teenagers are saving for a deposit on their future home so that they would not have to rely on handouts from their parents or the government, unlike Generation X and Y.

Researchers interviewing 2000 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 have uncovered a worrying trend of ‘money stress’, which is causing children to stash their pocket money for future big buys such as a home, an education, or a car.

The report revealed that nearly 70 percent worried about their finances, with two-thirds (64 percent) using a savings account to protect their financial future.

“…Generation Z is more grounded and traditional in their value system than Generation Y,” Jeff Brookes, Regional Director, Asia Pacific at Habbo, said.

Teenagers have prioritised goals of car and home ownership and investing in their education above travel plans, which was the popular choice for Generation Y, according to the report.

Compared to Gen Y (19 to 30 years of age), who are responsible for 37 percent of Australia’s consumer credit defaults, Gen Z is shaping up to be one of the most responsible generations of savers.

The only thing is that Gen Z lacks is the financial knowledge and experience of their older counterparts, but many are starting to use the internet as a way of learning and comparing financial products.

For example, a quick online comparison can mean the difference between mediocre returns of 3 or 4 percent p.a. and high interest accounts of over 5 percent p.a. This can help gain extra thousands of dollars over the term of their savings plan.

Because many Gen Z savers don’t plan to purchase a home for another 10 years, they have plenty of time to grow their savings. For example, to save up for a 10 percent deposit ($27,500) on a $275,000 loan in 10 years, you would only need to save about $44 a week on a 5 percent p.a. interest rate.

It is never too early to begin saving for your future needs, and Generation Z has already got the right attitude. All you need is the tools, so start shopping for the best savings accounts today and your financial success.

 

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Learn more about savings accounts

Can you set up a savings account online?

Yes. Several large and small banks offer online applications for savings accounts, and there are also online-only financial institutions to consider.

Online-only savings accounts are often less expensive than other savings accounts, though they may not offer the same flexibility, features, or face-to-face service as more traditional savings accounts.

Can you have a joint savings account?

Yes. Joint savings accounts can be useful for two or more people wanting to combine their savings to meet shared financial goals, including spouses, flatmates and business partners.

Some joint savings accounts require all parties to sign before they can access the money. While less convenient, this extra security can help encourage all parties to meet their shared financial goals.

Other joint savings accounts allow any of the account holders to access the money. These accounts can be convenient for financially responsible couples that trust one another implicitly. 

How to make money with a savings account?

Savings accounts make you money by earning interest on your savings. The more money you deposit, the longer you leave it in the account, and the higher the account’s interest rate, the more interest you’ll be paid by the bank or financial institution, and the more your wealth will grow.

To make sure your savings account makes money and doesn’t lose money, it’s important to maintain a large enough minimum balance that the annual interest earned exceeds any annual fees charged on the account.

What is the interest rate on savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to look at interest rates on savings accounts is to use a savings accounts comparison tool. When you look at the savings rate check what the maximum and minimum rates are. Often banks will offer you a promotional rate for the first few months which is competitive, but then revert back to a base rate which can sometimes be less than inflation. Ongoing bonus rates are often a safer bet as they will keep rewarding you with the maximum rate, provided you meet their criteria

How to open a savings account for my child?

Some banks and financial institutions allow parents to open a bank account for their child as soon as it is born, and start depositing funds to go towards the child’s future.

Children’s savings accounts generally don’t have fees, and are structured to help develop positive financial habits by limiting withdrawals, encouraging regular deposits, and earning interest on the savings, similarly to standard savings accounts.

How much money should I have in my savings account?

A good rule of thumb when working out a minimum balance for your savings account is to make sure that you’ll earn more in annual interest on your savings than what you’ll be charged in annual fees.

If you’re saving with a specific goal in mind, prepare a budget so the interest you earn on your deposits will help you efficiently reach this goal. Online financial calculators may be helpful here.

Can you set up direct debits from a savings account?

It’s not usually possible to set up a direct debit from your savings account to cover ongoing expenses or bills, as savings accounts are structured around growing your wealth by earning interest on regular deposits, and discouraging withdrawals.

Some transaction accounts allow you to set up direct debits and also earn interest, though you may not enjoy as much flexibility as a dedicated transaction account, or get as high an interest rate as a dedicated savings account.

How does interest work on savings accounts?

The type of interest savings accounts accrues is called compound interest. Compound interest is interest paid on the initial deposit amount, as well as the accumulated interest on money you have. This is different from simple interest where interest is paid at the end of a specified term. Compound interest allows you to earn interest on interest at a higher frequency. 

Example: John deposits $10,000 into a savings account with an interest rate of 5 per cent that he leaves untouched for 10 years. At the end of the first year he will have $10,512 in savings. After ten years, he will have saved $16,470.

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of bank account in which you earn interest on the money you deposit. This makes it one of the easiest and safest investment tools.

Who has the highest interest rates for savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to know who currently has the highest interest rate is to use a savings account comparison tool.

What is a good interest rate for a savings account?

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind with savings accounts is to look for a rate that is higher than the CPI inflation rate. This number is constantly changing, so check the Reserve Bank of Australia’s page. If you aren’t earning interest above this then the value of your money will go backwards over time.

Can I overdraft my savings account?

A lot of savings accounts won’t let you overdraw. Some will allow this feature but you’ll need to apply first. It’s best to read the fine print and check with your lender whether this is a feature they offer. It can be a helpful addition, but as your lender can charge you a fee as well as interest for going into negative numbers, it’s best to avoid overdrafting when possible.

How do I open a savings account?

Opening a savings account is a relatively simple process. If you’ve found an account with a suitable interest rate, you’ll just need to get in contact with your chosen lender via a branch, phone call or hop online to begin the process. 

You may be required to provide:

  • Personal details, including identification (driver’s license, passport etc.)
  • Tax file number
  • Employment details

How can I get a $4000 loan approved?

While personal loans and medium amount loans don’t offer guaranteed approval, there are steps you can take to help increase the likelihood of your application being approved, including:

  • Fulfilling the eligibility criteria (providing ID, proof of residency, proof of income etc.)
  • Checking your credit history (you can order one free copy of your credit file per year, and make sure that there aren’t any errors that may be bringing down your credit score)
  • Comparing carefully before applying (making multiple loan applications can mean having your credit checked multiple times, which can look bad to some lenders and reduce your chances of being approved by them)