Spending up, savings down for 18 to 34-year-olds following lockdown, report finds

Many Kiwis have become better at managing their finances as a result of Covid-19’s financial impact, except for 18 to 34-year-olds.

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Retirement commissioner Jane Wrightson says Covid-19 taught many Kiwis about money, bar those aged 18-34. Source: Breakfast

That’s according to new research from the Commission for Financial Capability which found some New Zealanders were expanding their knowledge and attitudes around their personal finances.

But, 18 to 34-year-olds were the opposite. Younger people reported their spending and financial behaviour had deteriorated after lockdown in contrast to the rest of the population.

The data showed 18 to 34-year-olds who considered money was there to be spent shot up from 29 per cent to 42 per cent, compared to 27 per cent from other age groups.

By May and June 37 per cent  of 18 to 34-year-olds agreed they tended to live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself compared to 25 per cent from other age groups.

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Retirement Commissioner Jane Wrightson says younger people have the most trouble with saving money “because retirement is a long way away”.

“Little is long is the big message here, it doesn't really matter how much it is when you’re young the fact is that you start a habit and carry on with it for the rest of your life,” Ms Wrightson told TVNZ1’s Breakfast.

"We need to wrap around them basically. They’re an anxious generation anyway and the issues they’re facing at the moment are intense."

She said the group's "live for today" attitude is likely coming from the current economic uncertainty.

"It’s important we recognise this and help younger New Zealanders imagine a better future for themselves.”