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Americans have recession fatigue -- and it's keeping them from preparing for the next downturn

Sarah Foster, Bankrate.com on

Published in Business News

When Pasha Grozdov found out his friend’s Manhattan landlord was raising the rent on her one-bedroom apartment from $4,100 to a crushing $6,000 a month, there was only one way he could think to react: with a joke.

“Let’s cancel the economy,” he responded.

Iced coffees in hand, Grozdov and his friend were on an early morning stroll through Central Park. They had just finished taking a 6 a.m. SoulCycle class when she opened up to him about how much the hottest rental market in decades was costing her, a side effect of the devastating coronavirus pandemic.

He’d later convert conversations like these into a series of TikToks detailing how Generation Z feels about the possibility of living through another recession. The videos clearly resonated, capturing a combined six million impressions, 600,000 likes, 3,400 comments and another 37,000 shares as of mid-September. “Another Great Depression? Try me, I’m already depressed,” he joked in one of his most popular videos.

They’re all jokes, but he isn’t kidding.

“I feel a little frustrated and sad about everything,” says Grozdov, 25, also a resident of New York City. “First, the pandemic — we were so young, so full of life and the world was our oyster. And then now what, an economic recession? We’ve already lost two years from 2020. We are not here for this.”

 

Nearly a third of Americans who aren’t ready for a recession say they’re not doing anything to prepare

Experts are calling it “recession fatigue,” and it might be why nearly a third of Americans who say they’re not prepared for a recession (31%) aren’t taking any steps to get their finances ready for one, a Bankrate poll from August found. Even worse, that number jumps to 42% for the Americans who say they’re not at all prepared for a recession.

But it’s especially afflicting younger generations, Bankrate’s poll found. Two in 5 Gen Zers (40% of those between the ages of 18 and 25) who say they aren’t prepared for a recession aren’t taking any steps to get their finances in order. That compares with 31% of unprepared millennials (ages 26-41), 30% of Gen X (ages 42-57) and 27% of baby boomers (ages 58-76).

“From the Great Recession that may have caused financial stress for their parents to the chaos in health, safety and stability that occurred with the pandemic, these formative events have fundamentally impacted the way Gen Z views the world,” says Megan Gerhardt, professor of leadership and management at the Farmer School of Business at Miami University who specializes in studying generational differences.

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©2022 Bankrate.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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