For most people, their goal is to work hard, save money and retire early but Gen Z has adopted a new method called “soft saving.” The trend refers to putting less money into the future and using more of their earnings for the present seeking an emotional connection with brands they choose to engage with.
Older generations have split feelings about the new trend. Some are fascinated, calling Gen Z the new hippies while others say they’re soft and lazy.
I am reading about #GenZ and their concept of ‘soft saving’ rather than surrendering to stress and working for nothing except a retirement account. Are Gen Z the new hippies? I love these people. They’re not getting fooled!
— John Fusco (@JohnFusco12) March 18, 2023
For two years while saving money to buy a house I worked 6-2:30 then 5 -10, 5 days a week. Gen Z is so lazy and soft.
— Patrick (@PatrickTooSoon) October 25, 2023
The soft saving lifestyle is meant to embrace comfort while prioritizing personal growth and mental wellness breaking free from restrictive financial constraints.
According to a study by Inuite, 3 out of 4 Gen Z would rather put money into experiences that are instantly gratifying rather than saving, which has dropped the personal saving rate amongst Americans significantly by 5% in the last decade.
The COVID-19 pandemic heavily contributed to the percentage drop. Spending rates across the states were lower during the 2 to 3 years in lockdown, and now people are spending more to make up for the time lost which makes sense to me.
I’ve been amongst friends and we all contemplate if a purchase is worth it at the moment. We encourage each other with ideologies like, “money comes and goes,” “yolo” and more recently girl math. Honestly, the justifications make you feel less guilty for wanting instant gratification, and financial trends like these are telling of Gen Z’s relationship with consumerism.
Sydney Wanguhu, (she/her) is from The Bay Area and is an L.A.-based journalist who covers entertainment and culture. Follow her on Instagram: @sydneyy._
Edited by Nykeya Woods.