via Cleo


Seemingly every day, TikTok excavates a new defining difference between Gen Z and millennials.

Officially, millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, and Gen Z includes anyone born between 1997 and 2012. Though the "Zillennials" born between '94 and 2000 straddle this divide, the commonly cited factors that distinguish the two include: relationship to technology, use of social media, and memories/experiences of key events like 9/11 and the 2008 recession.


On social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, more whimsical differences emerge. Social and cultural norms always shift with the times, and certain trends are sure signs of which group a person belongs to.

Popular examples — some of which have caused internet outcries and viral trends (who remembers the "Proud to Be a Millennial" song) — are Gen Z versus Millennial preferences for mom jeans over skinny jeans and middle parts over side parts.

But one thing that unites them: similar attitudes towards money.

Both came (or are coming) of age during various crises — for many millennials, the great recession was a formative experience on their lives and career trajectories, and many Gen Zers have had their emergent professional lives rocked by the pandemic.

Add to all this the crippling load of student loan debt that both carry and the threat of the climate crisis putting a question mark over the task of future planning, learning to manage money is notoriously tricky for both factions — but they're increasingly empowering themselves using the internet.

According to Kasasa* , both generations are turning to personalized, tailored banking services. No one ever taught them to balance a checkbook (literally … what even is that?), but they're empowering themselves with digital banking.

"Millennials … seek digital tools to help manage their debt and see their banks as transactional as opposed to relational," according to Kasasa, and Gen Z are into "learning about personal finance. They have a strong appetite for financial education and are opening savings accounts at younger ages than prior generations."

With an appetite to learn about and confront the abysmal financial foundations, they have been handed, digital banking tools are attractive to both Gen Z and Millennials — bonus points if they are easy to use with a no-nonsense interface.

Enter: Cleo.

According to their website, Cleo is an app which integrates all your accounts and, like a really financially savvy and brutally honest friend, tells you what's going on in your wallet.

Cleo is like the coolest finance major you'll ever meet. You can text her all your questions about your spending, your habits, and your current balances, and she'll give it to you straight.

She'll also tell you when you're running low — like when you should probably skip that Starbucks stop so you'll have money left for the subway home — and keeps you on track of your goals.

Here are some of our favorite features of Cleo that make her universally likable:

1. It's like talking to a friend

Above anything, Cleo is accessible. Anyone can (and everyone should) talk to her about money to demystify their finances. Cleo answers questions in a super easy-to-understand vernacular and talks to you like a friend — the kind of friend who isn't afraid to roast you when you're being shortsighted.

2. Autosave makes saving easy

Budgeting doesn't have to be boring. Saving money should be fun. After all, you're stacking up cash to live an awesome life — whether it's a sick vacation you want to take and post all over Instagram or a house in your dream neighborhood — so shouldn't you be excited about it? Well, it can be hard to drum up any verve for putting your money away, but Cleo uses autosave so you don't see the money it's saving for you until you've reached your goals

3. She breaks it down super simply

The key to getting good with money is looking at the big picture. Cleo categorizes your spending into parts so you know how much is going where. And it doesn't have to be intimidating. Sometimes all you need is a calculator and Cleo.


* https://www.kasasa.com/articles/generations/gen-x-...

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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Did you hear about the Great Resignation? It isn’t over. Just over two years of pandemic living, many offices are finally returning to full-time or hybrid experiences. This is causing employees to totally reconsider their positions.

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