Right now, those born after 1997 are facing the Gen Z money squeeze. From college loan repayments to budgeting and building credit, many Gen Zs want to know how to manage their money smartly and quickly.

Here we’ll look at some moves while offering some helpful tips on how to keep more money, make more money, and avoid the squeeze. Whether you are thinking about ways to budget or save money, this article provides information you can use.

Understanding the financial struggles of Gen Z

Gen Zs are fast entering adulthood, and they are experiencing financial struggles that their parents did not have to face. The cost of living is rising fast while wages remain stagnant. And now, those with student loan debt have an especially large burden. These facts make it difficult for Gen Zs to stretch their income to cover expenses, leaving them feeling overwhelmed and very stressed.

The skyrocketing cost of living has meant that basic necessities such as housing, food, and transportation can be nearly out of reach for many young adults. Rent prices, in particular, have zoomed in recent years, making it almost impossible for Gen Zs to find affordable housing. This situation leaves them with few good options when it comes to where they can live.

Student loan debt is a major factor contributing to the financial struggles of many Gen Zs. The average college graduate in the US now has more than $30,000 in student loan debt – a figure that continues to rise with each passing year. This debt can be a huge burden on grads who are trying to make ends meet while they’re also expected to pay off their loans.

Clearly, Generation Z is facing unique financial struggles that they need to address if they are going to achieve any kind of financial success in life. Fortunately, there are ways for them to manage their money wisely and build a secure future. But, they must get a grip on what they’re up against!

The challenge of college loan repayments

Obviously, the challenge of college loan repayments is a major obstacle for many Gen Zs. With repayment of deferred student loans set to start in October 2023, it is clear that this issue is not going away anytime soon. Repayment plans for student loans are often inflexible and difficult to adjust to personal circumstances.

Here are a few resources to help those with student loans get a grasp on their debt:

  1. Forbes Advisor Student Loan Calculator
  2. How to Refinance Student Loans: The Complete Guide
  3. Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plan
  4. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

The critical necessity of a budget

Creating a budget is essential because it allows people to figure out where their money is going each month. More than that, it maps out exactly when bills and loan payments are due and matches those to paydays and other income. Yes, a budget allows a person to know exactly how much disposable income is available to spend on any given weekend.

For anyone interested, here are a few Budgeting Apps that are considered pretty good by some people:

  1. Mint: Helps track spending, set budgets, and see where your money is going. The cool thing is, Mint (by Intuit) is free as of this writing.
  2. You Need a Budget (YNAB): Focuses on giving every dollar a job to help control spending. Using this app is currently an $8.99-a-month bite, but some people really like its human approach.
  3. PocketGuard: Helps prevent overspending by showing what’s left “in your pocket” after bills and savings. PocketGuard has a free version, but to get the cool stuff to work, it’s only $34.99 a year. Think about it.
  4. Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets: You can use Excel if you have it or just sign into Google Sheets. Both are customizable and can be tailored to personal needs. Plus, there are many free budgeting templates available online for both platforms.

Exploring ways to make more money

Not everyone is a college grad, and not all of them owe big bucks to the feds. After all, some people skipped 4-5 more years of school and went straight into the trades. Regardless, Gen Zs thinking of making bank are the ones searching for methods of generating more income.

If a fat raise is not in your immediate future, here are a few ideas that might come in handy. Do what you do! Find remote short-term or freelance side hustles online:

  1. Upwork: Upwork is not for manual laborers. But, if you have the talent, this is a gold mine for gig work.
  2. Fiverr: Much the same as Upwork, you sign up for free, set up your gig, and get paid through Fiverr’s platform.

It’s also worth looking into companies that offer remote working opportunities or flexible part-time jobs.

  1. 20 of the Best Remote Work Companies in 2023
  2. Try the Government, USA Jobs (Remote – work from home!)
  3. How to Find Remote Work: 24 of the Best Remote Job Boards

It’s important to think creatively when trying to make money – side projects or hobbies can often become profitable sources of income, either online or offline.

The Gen Z Money Squeeze is a Fact

Achieving financial success as a Gen Zer requires understanding and managing the unique set of financial challenges they face. From student loan payments to budgeting and spending responsibly, Gen Zs must be proactive to make smart financial decisions. It is also important to consider side hustles and extra income sources, as well as investing in stocks or other assets in order to build a secure future.

Gen Zs can learn to take control of their money and achieve success. It’s never too early to start taking the right steps toward financial security and building a strong foundation for the future. With knowledge, dedication, and hard work, any Gen Zer can beat the squeeze and achieve their own personal version of success in life.


  • Chris Kane

    Chris Kane is a military veteran and former business owner currently living in the Des Moines, Iowa, metro. Chris is an inveterate entrepreneur and avid web developer who is not shy about sharing his opinions.