Green Money Stress: Greenlight Survey Reveals Financial Anxiety Starts at 14

Fintech Company Reveals Generational Divide in Financial Wellness Among Kids, Teens, and Parents

In celebration of Financial Literacy Month, the fintech company committed to empowering parents in raising financially savvy children has released insights from a nationwide survey. The study aims to shed light on the state of financial well-being among kids and teens (Gen Alpha, Gen Z) as well as parents (Millennial, Gen X), with a focus on understanding generational disparities in financial attitudes and opportunities for familial financial literacy enhancement.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Financial stress and anxiety emerge as early as 14 years old, accompanied by a decline in financial confidence. 76% of Gen Z teens experience money-related stress akin to their Millennial (76%) and Gen X (75%) parents, contrasting sharply with only 31% of Gen Alpha kids. Gen Alpha displays the highest confidence and optimism regarding their financial futures.
  • Across all generations, there’s a consensus on the necessity of financial knowledge and skills to achieve life goals, with 91% of kids and teens and 94% of parents in agreement.
  • Gen Alpha expresses notable confidence in achieving financial goals, particularly in saving money, securing well-paying jobs, and owning homes, with 55% highly confident compared to 45% of Gen Z.
  • Financial stressors vary across generations, with inflation or shrinkflation, lack of emergency funds, and gas prices topping the list. Notably, Gen Z’s primary financial stressor is gas prices, while inflation and shrinkflation concern Millennial and Gen X parents the most.
  • Both Gen Alpha and Gen Z express a desire for more personal finance education, with 75% of Gen Alpha kids and Gen Z teens seeking such knowledge.
  • Social media emerges as a significant platform for financial education, particularly among Gen Z and Millennials, despite concerns about accuracy. Half of Gen Z teens report learning about personal finance through social media, with YouTube and TikTok being the most popular platforms.

Jennifer Seitz, Director of Education at Greenlight, emphasizes the importance of effective financial education in alleviating financial stress and fostering confidence among families.

Greenlight offers an acclaimed banking app designed for families to teach children and teens essential financial skills, with over 6 million users collectively saving more than $600 million and investing over $50 million toward their financial futures. The company continues to innovate with initiatives like Greenlight Level Up™, an in-app financial literacy game, and Greenlight for Classrooms, a free online financial education resource for teachers.

Survey Methodology: The insights were gathered through a Researchscape survey conducted by Greenlight from March 22 to March 24, 2024, involving 2,310 respondents in the U.S., including Gen Alpha kids (ages 10-13), Gen Z teens (ages 14-19), and Millennial and Gen X parents of kids aged 10-19. All Gen Alpha responses were obtained with parental permission and supervision, and results were weighted by age, gender, and Census region.

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