Consumer Insight from Female Gen-Zer

Oct 16, 2023 | Macro Insights, No Bull Economics

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By 2028, women will own 75% of the discretionary spend, making them the world’s greatest influencers according to Nielsen. Insights from a recently married nurse 2 years out of college reveal that her peers span a broad spectrum in terms of their financial situations & outlooks.

Q&A with Julie Mangieri, a recently married nurse 2 years out of college.

Julie Nurse Image

How would you charactertize your friends’ finances right now?

My friends span quite a spectrum in terms of their financial situations. There are a couple things that I notice for those in better financial situations than others:

  • Parents funded their college education fully, or at least partially. Those who obtained degrees with better returns on investment are better off.
  • They are not paying huge amounts of rent. They are finding ways to avoid making outrageous rent payments. Whether that is living with family to avoid rent altogether or living with a serious boyfriend and splitting bills. One of my friends is dating a guy who is 27 and already has a mortgage. I believe he pays the mortgage, and she assists with utilities and other expenses. They seem to be very comfortable financially.  

Are they spending as much as they did last year? What are the y/y changes in spending categories that you have noticed the most?

My friends say they are spending slightly more this year in certain categories (going out to bars, eating out, and going to the grocery), but overall, their lifestyles have not significantly changed since last year.

Are your friends satisfied with their pay? Are they confident about getting raises over time?

Many of my friends (especially nurses and teachers) are not satisfied with their pay. Travel nurses who easily earn 6 figures are the exception. These women are confident they will get a tiny raise yearly, but the ceiling is not very high. A lot of them understand that in their roles they will probably always be overworked and underpaid. One of my friends who is a special education teacher has told me she is dissatisfied with her pay but was never under the impression she would be making a lot of money in the first place. My only friends who are confident of future raises are in sales positions. I have a friend who is in sales at DHL with a degree in international business who seems optimistic about raises. I also have a friend who got an environmental science degree and worked for a startup (which sells software that can tell companies what kind of chemicals are in their products) that was recently bought out. She has done very well for herself in that role and is very optimistic about the future.

What are the biggest challenges to your friend’s finances currently?

Like many women in their 20s, a huge challenge to my friend’s finances is student debt. This is especially true for those who pursued degrees that did not have a great return on investment or those who pursued college at first and realized it was not for them. I have one friend who quit college after 1 year with a decent amount of debt. I believe it is very important if you are going to take on huge debt by going to college that your investment is not wasted on a useless degree. Another current challenge is deciding whether to take a mortgage currently. Home costs are through the roof, frustrating many of us.

Are your friends saving for any big purchases? Do they have any real estate plans?

I would say those of my friends who are in more committed/serious relationships are saving towards buying homes. Those who are single or in less committed relationships do not seem to be looking to buy a home anytime soon. One of my friends is in a serious relationship, works full-time, and lives with her grandmother to take care of her. She says while it is difficult, she does it to save on rent so she can hopefully be able to afford a home soon. She says this has also given her room to splurge on herself and spend on having fun and going out with friends.

Thanks Julie!

Source: Wise up to Women | Nielsen

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