Gen Z Still Uses Cash Stuffing To Manage Finances, According to New Study

An envelope full of cash with the word

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As financial strategies go, “cash stuffing” is not exactly cutting edge. People have been doing it ever since currency became the preferred way of paying for things.

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The term means what it sounds like: You literally stuff cash into envelopes and mark each for a particular purpose.

Cash stuffing has become a hot trend among younger folks, partly because so many TikTok influencers hail it as a sound financial practice. It continues to see a huge spike in popularity with Gen Z and millennials, according to a recent survey from personal finance platform Credello.

The survey of 600 U.S. adults aged 18 to 41, conducted in late July in partnership with Pollfish, found that nearly 61% of respondents use cash stuffing to manage their finances. More than four in 10 (43%) use cash stuffing regularly when they receive their paychecks, while 25% do it a few times a week.

Among the other survey highlights:

  • 1 in 3 respondents say cash stuffing is “very effective” for saving towards a goal.
  • 29% use it to pay off large purchases.
  • 28% use it for everyday purchases or utilities.
  • 24% use it to pay down debt.
  • 17% use it for small purchases.

The Future of Finances: Gen Z & How They Relate to Money

Although many Gen Zers (29.48%) learn about cash stuffing from TikTok videos — which get hundreds of thousands of views — an even bigger percentage (36.44%) learn about it from family. Thirty percent of respondents said they turned to budget tools such as cash stuffing due to the pressure of high inflation. About one-third turned to cash stuffing to curb overspending.

The nearly 25% of respondents who use cash stuffing to reduce debt mainly put it toward high credit card balances. Even so, more than half of respondents (55%) still use credit cards regularly. About one-third (32%) said they “barely” use a credit card, while 13% don’t have a credit card at all.

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