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2 smart pieces of money advice for Gen Z to avoid the financial fate of the last generation, according to a financial advisor for wealthy millennials

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Gen Z needs to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

The oldest members of the generation, which as of 2020 spans those turning ages eight to 23, are bearing the brunt of the economic toll of the coronavirus. College students are seeing jobs and internship opportunities diminish, while Gen Zers already in the workforce are facing furloughs and layoffs.

And many Gen Zers aren't eligible for stimulus checks if they were claimed as a dependent on someone else's taxes. Those working part-time or in an internship would fit that bill.

It's a situation reminiscent of what happened to the oldest millennials, who graduated into the Great Recession. Twelve years later, those millennials are still dealing with how entering a weak job market negatively impacted their career paths and their ability to build wealth. Research finds that stagnation in financial growth can afflict recession graduates for almost 15 years.

Douglas Boneparth, CFP and president of Bone Fide Wealth, a financial planning firm for high-net-worth millennials, told Business Insider he thinks it's possible that some of Gen Z will follow in older millennials' footsteps. "That will come down to how quickly we can recover from the damage being done from coronavirus," he said. (Boneparth's comments applied to the older cohort of Gen Z, including recent graduates and current college students.)

Boneparth said he was mostly concerned with Gen Z's ability to service student loan debt — the class of 2019 graduated with nearly $30,000 of student-loan debt on average — and the possibility that they might accumulate more debt to survive. 

Gen Z should focus on increasing their value and cutting spending

To avoid what befell older millennials, Boneparth advised the older members of Gen Z to spend their free time doing anything they can to increase their value to potential employers when the economy begins to recover.

One option, he said, is continuing your education with free online classes. Online-learning site Coursera is currently offering 100 classes across a variety of categories for free from now through May 31, 2020, complete with a certificate of completion you can add to LinkedIn. 

Boneparth also suggested working on building your personal brand by creating content, like a blog. This can also involve building and curating your social media presence.

A personal brand should be centered around your value, insights, and passion in a way that's also aligned to your ideal career. It's about defining your niche and accurately capturing who you are and how you want to be seen. Having a good brand can make you more marketable to employers by increasing your reach, impact, and income, Marietta Gentles Crawford previously reported for Business Insider.

You can also take side jobs or learn to be creative in new ways. That might mean starting a side hustle such as becoming a freelance writer or reselling clothes online.

"When money is tight, the emphasis is on managing spending to ensure that you are limiting any movement backwards financially," Boneparth said. That means cutting back where you can to save as much as you can in an emergency savings fund.

As Boneparth puts it, "This means getting uncomfortable temporarily."

SEE ALSO: The coronavirus pandemic has fragmented Gen Z into 4 distinct groups — and each one is dealing with a different set of challenges

DON'T MISS: The coronavirus pandemic will mint a new generation, according to a researcher — and it has nothing to do with the supposed 'baby boom'

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* This article was originally published herePress Release Distribution

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