Photo: JLGutierrez via Getty Images

McKinley– Same money, more problems. Inflation is at a 40-year high, and the prices of major Gen Z expenses like gas, rent, food, and tuition are rising especially quickly. Even the adored $1 New York pizza has taken the hit; I forked over $1.50 for a slice last week.

For a lot of us, this is the first time we’re hearing about what a problem inflation poses. But it’s top of mind for execs, who are concerned about the longer-term effects of uncontrolled price hikes. New survey findings show they consider inflation one of the top three threats to the global economy. 

In inflation’s wake, some Gen Z members are already:
•facing deeper student debt due to rising tuition
•cutting contributions to retirement accounts
•moving back in with parents to save
looking for new jobs that provide more financial security

And we keep hearing that we’re never going to be able to retire.

What can Gen Z do? It’s not necessarily in our control, but companies and policy makers are already working to control inflation and keep pricing fair. Still, it’s a good time to take stock and get serious about your personal finances.

Have a financial adviser? (I don’t.) But the wealth management industry and, more broadly, financial-services companies know we are coming:

  • Women and first-time investors could well be the next personal-finance power players.
  • New banking products developed for tomorrow’s customers—driven by the rise of crypto and other digital assets—could cushion the blow of inflation and help meet demand from people who are new to investing.
  • Emerging financing models like “buy now, pay later” can give you more options when you reach the cash register, such as popular “Pay in 4” services—which allow consumers to split payments into four interest-free installments—often offered through an app or integrated into online shopping sites.
  • Many are eyeing apps and platforms for trading stocks or tokens_Coinbase, for example, already has a staggering 68 million verified users.