Iona Bain is a UK-based award-winning writer, author, speaker, and broadcaster who specialises in personal finance.
Read her features on Financial Times - here. Excited by the dynamic vision of W1TTY, Iona writes...
Money – it’s not just about the numbers. Of course, it pays to know your APRs from your AERs and how much is coming in versus going out. But gen Z is fast realising that money management is about so much more than figuring out percentages and making all the sums add up. It’s also about understanding your psychology, setting meaningful goals, and achieving the right balance in life. After all, what’s the point in feeling wealthy if it doesn’t feel healthy?
For gen Z, health and wellness is a top priority. Recent research done by PwC as part of their Europe Consumer Insights Series revealed that almost half (44%) of gen Z consumers use technology to track their physical activity and provide vital health stats. Some 40% have an app to monitor their sleep, while 37% use one for dieting, weight loss, and healthy eating. Around a third rely on apps to help them exercise more, while 28% find them helpful for understanding fertility and periods.
It all points to the fact that gen Z is far more body-aware than other generations, and at a time when free healthcare is getting harder to access, young people clearly believe prevention is better than cure. But their focus is not restricted to physical health. Gen Z is also receptive to messages around finding inner peace. Separate research by health marketing agency Pegasus found 20% of 16 - 23-year-olds practice either mindfulness and/or meditation, as opposed to 10% of baby-boomers, while the American Psychiatric Association reports that gen Z are the most likely to have gone to therapy or received treatment for their mental health out of all the generations alive today.
Money is a mental health issue
Moreover, Gen Z wisely views money as a mental health issue. Data from Experian shows that more than half of young people today are afraid money issues will stop them from doing what they want in life, and 43% worry they won’t earn enough to be happy. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can take control of our money so it’s not taking control of us. This doesn’t just improve our bank balance – making smarter financial decisions can help us all become happier and healthier.
When we get on top of our finances, we sleep better.
When we get on top of our finances, we sleep better. We feel more resilient and confident. We’re more motivated to pursue other healthy habits, like eating well, exercising, and nurturing relationships. In other words, we achieve real progress in our lives when we work out our true priorities and manage our money accordingly.
Forward-thinking financial brands like W1TTY are now helping their customers grasp this all-important link between money and health. By educating young people on healthy financial behaviour, these apps are at the forefront of the money wellness movement, doing their bit to promote a more holistic approach to banking, budgeting, and saving.
After all, younger consumers appreciate fintech that doesn’t just tell them how to look after their money but allows them to understand why this all matters. In a time when the geopolitical and economic outlook has never felt more uncertain, our generation might just realise that we can’t change the world if we don’t change ourselves.