The A to Z of Gen Z

5 min | 28 May 2024

Chanté Joseph
Chanté Joseph

The way we talk about money changes with every generation. We know there are lots of new terms popping up to describe our relationship with money, so, with that, here are the most popular ones for you to read up on.

It feels as though every couple of months we're introduced to a new, buzzy, Gen Z money phrase. How people relate to money changes over time, and as a result, how we speak about it does, too. What were seen as definitive money rules by baby boomers are not necessarily the same for Gen Z. So, if you're confused by any of them, fear not; here's a breakdown of these new terms so you can join the conversation if you want to.

The 48-hour rule:

This is an oldie but a goodie. The 48-hour rule is an act of mindful spending. It involves waiting 48 hours before purchasing an item. The idea is that if you really want the object, the excitement won’t wane, and you’ll be making a considered purchase!

The 50/30/20 rule:

When you’re managing your income, there are several ways you can go about budgeting. The 50/30/20 rule is one way. It advises that:

  • 50% of your income should be allocated to needs
  • 30% of your income is set aside for wants
  • 20% of your income is reserved for your savings

Cash stuffing or the 100-envelope challenge:

Cash stuffing and the 100-envelope challenge involve spending and saving cash. These methods may not work for everyone in our card payment-only world, but they can be a nifty way to budget as an alternative to being tap-happy with your contactless cards. And if you bank with Chase, you can open multiple accounts, up to 20 in total, that could act as virtual envelopes. You might want to rename accounts rather than closing one and opening a new one. You have to be over 18 and a UK resident to open an account with Chase.

Cash stuffing means spending with cash and not credit. You are encouraged to designate monthly spending into envelopes. The 100-envelope challenge involves labelling envelopes 1-100 and placing as much as you can in each envelope daily to save money.


You're constantly shown products in ads and by influencers when you're online. When people wax lyrical about how 'incredible' a new lipstick or gadget is, it can be easy to feel as though you need to buy everything. However, we’re now seeing a trend of 'deinfluencing' emerging, where creators are discouraging viewers from unnecessary spending.

Doom spending:

A reimagining of emotional spending, doom spending involves buying items you don’t really need in the name of self-soothing. Much like doom scrolling, it implies you just keep spending until you experience that dopamine hit that cheers you up.

Gender math:

A term that has taken the internet by storm, girl math is the creative way that people explain their spending choices. Because we take issue with using the term 'girl' when used this way because it feels infantilising, it might be time to get the term 'clever maths' into the lexicon? Examples of girl math include:

  • If you pay by cash, it’s free
  • If you buy an item on sale, you’ve basically made a profit
  • If plans get cancelled, then you’ve automatically made everything you would have spent

Girl math ideas are basically spending justifications that make sense to the individual. Is it sound financial advice? Probably not, but no harm done if you need an excuse to justify your spending.

Loud budgeting:

According to Business Insider, one in three Gen Zers identify as loud budgeters. The act of loud budgeting is when you boldly let people know you are not spending money recklessly. Gen Zers are not scared about telling people they are on a budget; money, or a lack of it, is not taboo.

Money dysmorphia:

They say comparison is the thief of joy, and this applies particularly online. People only put their best selves forward on the internet, flaunting their glitz and glamour, which can trigger anxiety in their less well-off audiences. Money dysmorphia is a symptom of financial envy; it is when your financial status feels worse or better than it actually is because of the media you consume.

No-spend challenge:

Whether it is a week, a month, or even a year, people are trying to curb their overconsumption by challenging themselves not to spend money. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t spend anything, it's more about identifying non-essential spending habits and finding ways to cut back.

Soft saving:

Sometimes, the future seems so far away, and you just need to enjoy the now. Soft saving is putting less money into the future and more into the activities you want to do now. This form of saving prioritises experiences and short-term joys.

Disclaimer: The Hub is intended as a knowledge portal to provide information on a range of topics, including financial products. Articles may reference products and services that Chase UK does not currently offer. This article is for information only and does not constitute financial advice.

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