There’s hardly anything my parents and I agree on, it’s not always troubling though, because we can discuss and find a common ground. That said, there’s not always a common ground. For instance, how we manage our finances has always differed – and neither of us get each other. I’ve also come to realize that that’s the case for most parents and children – or that’s what generation gap does. Our parents like to think it through, save where it can be saved, and most of all, be practical with their spending. That’s not always the case with us.


For Gen-Z, being different or making different choices mostly boils down to the assumption that the entire generation is irresponsible. That’s not the case, it cannot be. But, there has to be some explanation.

Recently, my father asked me to start a recurring deposit, mentioning that I’ll spend less if I have less. And since the rest of my salary will be deducted, it’ll automatically be saved. He also added that every time he got a raise, he’d increase the amount that would be deducted and end up spending the same. Which is smart, but also restricting. I also thought that my father is too practical most times, and it’d do him good if he put himself first.


In another conversation, my parents started talking about the time when they used to save up for the end of the month. They added that they put whatever change they had everyday, in a box, and they’d open it up during the last days of the month. It was much later that they started making enough to invest and buy, what they refer to as luxuries. The salaries, at the time, were less. They also had responsibilities, that I know, I don’t. That made me realize that judging my parents for saving most of their salaries, or asking me to do the same is privileged; and I have this privilege that they did not.

Sure, our generation likes to live differently, as well. We like to splurge on things that make us feel better. But that also comes with a certain privilege – and it’s not wrong, it’s just important to acknowledge it. So many times, our parents do things, trying to keep us safe – and we think it’s the norm. But in doing so, they also shelter us from issues they’ve witnessed. Given our different journeys, we approach life differently. Even if that means dealing with finances a certain way.

Gen Z

There’s also the difference in priorities, where our generation understands that getting married and having children is a choice, and a lot of us also get to decide the timeline of those choices. That wasn’t the case for our parents – they were told that there’s an age bracket for these things. This eventually meant having to make decisions that would accommodate the family or the partner. I also think that my parents are so rooted in those times, that even if they don’t push me to make similar choices, they expect a similar pattern in life. This means that they’d want me to invest a certain amount in the next five years or make more financially responsible decisions.


The thing is, that a lot of it makes sense. Financial responsibility eventually means financial independence. It also means having control over our lives when times aren’t right. However, there has to be some balance – we shouldn’t ONLY be earning to protect our futures, because then that’d be a vicious cycle. We should also be able to live a little today, without being made to feel guilty about it.

Then again, our parents have grown in an entirely different setting. In some cases, the parents had to worry, so their children wouldn’t. It’d be difficult to get to a common understanding of finances, but we can always try to meet each other halfway, or well, somewhere where the differences don’t look bigger. Where our parents need to realize that spending on ourselves doesn’t mean irresponsibility, we need to understand that they know better at times. Like everything else, we can try and learn from each other. Or other times, just move on.