Gen Z Start to Care About Savings

This combined photo show Mey Minith, Chhoeng Sotheany, Prak Kunthea and Matthew Deth. Photo provided

PHNOM PENH – A group of Gen Z has now begun to consider the discipline of saving and is eager to know how to save smartly for the future.

Mey Minith, 21, a senior student at the Institute for International Studies and Public Policy, says he intends to see himself being more disciplined in saving.

Originally from Takeo province, Minith has become financially independent since he landed his first job. He is now an English teacher at CAM-ASEAN International Institute.

“I support myself financially from the job. Each month, I attempt to allocate 17% of my income to my savings account for future needs,” Minith said.

“Leaving my parents at a young age to pursue education in Phnom Penh city, I started to cook on my own.

“Yet, I could only afford groceries by depending on my parents' financial support. After getting a job, I spend it on my own. Grocery shopping each month accounts for 30% of my income.

“Around 17% of my income is spent on entertainment. I hang out with friends on weekends so I eat out more often as well. I wish I could stop eating out so much and save more for a better tomorrow.”

As shopping online becomes preferable among Gen Z people -more than 70% of Gen Z ordered online by 2022 - Minith also spends 10% of his income on shopping online especially on Taobao, a Chinese website.

Minith said the rest is spent on gasoline and miscellaneous items, 7% and 3%, respectively.

“I think I still do not spend wisely, and I sometimes can’t control my personal expenses. I wish I could learn how to be more disciplined in saving.”

Chhoeng Sotheany, a student majoring in pharmacy at International University, is also finding effective ways to save money.

As a full-time student, Sotheany said she has no choice but to rely heavily on her parents’ financial support.

“I cannot find any jobs now as I want to focus on my studies. This major requires too much effort and concentration. So, my parents are responsible for my tuition fees and monthly expenses,” Sotheany said.

“The schedule for pharmacy students is quite compact so I always eat out near my university. Thus, 30% of my monthly budget is spent on food.

“I can only save 10% of my budget per month as I have to spend on gasoline for transport, entertainment, clothing, skincare products and especially my study materials.

Sotheany said she would save more once she gets a job.

Prak Kunthea, a senior student majoring in banking and finance at the University of Economics and Finance, said she sometimes can’t control her personal finances.

“I sometimes feel guilty when transferring money from my savings account when my expenditures exceed my expectations. I list down how much and what categories I should spend per month, yet I do not follow the budget planner,” Kunthea said.

She is also a full-time staff member at a bank based in Phnom Penh.

“My parents are aging. I don’t want to see them worrying about my tuition fees anymore. Every time I get a salary, I allocate 10% of it each month for tuition fees.

“Another 20% of my income has been spent on transport as I book Grab to go to school and work every day. I am quite traumatized as the traffic accidents keep occurring every day. I have no choice but to book Grab.”

As a full-time worker and part-time student, Kunthea said she has no time to pack food to eat so she spends 30% of her income on meals and coffee.

“I wish I can follow my budget planner efficiently so that I do not need to withdraw more money from my savings account,” she said.

Matthew Deth, a professional model and a senior student majoring in international relations at Paragon International University said he has yet to start saving but he is open for any suggestions on how to start without having to sacrifice much of his personal needs.

“Seventy percent of my income comes from my career and another 30% is the allowance from my parents,” Matthew said.

“My spending is pretty even, I spent 50% of my income on tuition fees and the rest for my personal lifestyle.

“I am eager to know how to start saving and saving smartly.”

Generation Z or Gen Z refers to the group of people who were born in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Some say Gen Z ranges from 1997 to 2012 and there is still controversy about the specific years.

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