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Exploring the financial knowledge culture and behaviour of millennial and generation Z’s: a case study of employees at Astel Systems (Pty) Ltd.

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Millennials are currently the largest generational cohort in many countries, and Generation Z are fast approaching. The financial wellbeing of these cohorts is imperative to global financial success and wellbeing. This study was conducted with the aim of exploring the financial habits and knowledge of two generational cohorts by assessing the personal savings and investment behaviours. Further, the study aimed to analyse the spending habits and financial goals of millennials and GenZ. Lastly, the study was implored to determine what strategy could be undertaken to improve the spending and savings habits, and the financial knowledge possessed by these two generations. The most appropriate research methodology to adopt was a qualitative approach, and employed 12 respondents, split equally between the two generational cohorts. Semi structured interviews were conducted with each respondent. By using a thematic approach to the study, significant themes presented themselves, aiding to meet the research objectives. Prevalent themes that emerged included saving patterns and budgeting, investment views and practices, the influence of financial technology and digitisation on saving behaviour, spending habits, financial well- being aspirations and the influences on financial acumen. The findings have found that both cohorts exercise savings habits at either the beginning or the end of the month, however more millennials have a strict savings plan as compared to GenZ. The responses also highlighted that both generational cohorts place emphasis on home ownership in affluent areas. 83% of respondents are risk adverse and choose to hold safer rather risky investments. The study also concluded that millennials are more financially committed than GenZ and have accumulated debt at a younger age in terms of a bond or vehicle finance. Several recommendations were made, including make use of a strict monthly budget, diversifying investment portfolios with the assistance of financial advisors, and Government intervention to reduce interest rates and offer housing subsidies to younger generational cohorts that wish to purchase homes.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.