Gone are the days where being married with kids before the age of 30, or owning a home in your 20s, is considered the norm, according to a new Afterpay report, which reveals that one in five Gen Z Australians (21%) believe they’ll never be able to afford their own home.  

From navigating the housing market, to prioritising mental health over their career, and changing the ways they make and maintain relationships, the Afterpay Coming of Age reportreveals how Gen Z are managing their finances, optimising their work/life balance, and actively planning for their future.

From the rising cost of living to the lingering effects of the pandemic, Gen Z have been hit by multiple crises as they’ve entered adulthood. Today, only one in six (16%) of Gen Z’s own their own home, compared with one-quarter (24%) of Baby Boomers at the same age. Becoming parents has also been deprioritised, with only one in three (34%) Gen Zs already having kids, compared to almost half (43%) of over 30s at the same age. 

Gen Z started their careers during a major shift in workplace expectations and culture. As bosses revert back to the in-person office grind, young Australians demand work/life balance, with 35% saying that flexible working is a top consideration when job hunting.  

While over half (52%) of young Australians identify their career as a main priority, career loyalty isn’t a high priority, with three quarters (77%) willing to job hop for a better opportunity, and 80% believing it’s important to have a side hustle.

Amid the rental crisis and rising interest rates, Gen Z are taking control of their future by saving for the long term more than previous generations. Close to two thirds (65%) of Gen Z are actively saving for their retirement in addition to their superannuation, compared with two in five (43%) of their older counterparts at the same age.

While Gen Z Aussies are prioritising their future, their current savings aren’t as fruitful, with almost half (42%) admitting they have $10,000 or less in their bank account, and a third (31%) having $5,000 or less. 

Afterpay country manager for Australia and New Zealand, Katrina Konstas said, “The world is changing at a fast pace, and Gen Zs have had to adapt to that like no generation before them. Whether it’s starting their careers in lockdown and not adapting to hybrid or office working, growing up in a completely digital world, or having to navigate the ever-changing housing market. 

“The Afterpay Coming of Age report reveals exactly how much has changed since the older generations were in the 20s – from the Baby Boomers who came of age in a post-depression world, through the Millennials who navigated the analogue to digital change. The findings show Gen Zs priorities have shifted greatly, choosing to focus on themselves more than any generation before them, and are maturing in ways that will reshape the next generation’s relationship with life’s fundamental aspects.”