Cost of living pressures and the COVID-19 pandemic have upended the priorities of young Australians.
A survey of 2,511 Aussies found having a dream home was less of a priority than having an ideal lifestyle.
Above all else, people wanted financial independence, the Insignia Financial report found.
Insignia Financial CEO Renato Mota said "it's clear Australians have changed their priorities in life from the traditional dream of owning a home to living their dream lifestyle which is under pressure from the current economic climate".
Two thirds of Australians surveyed would prioritise a good lifestyle but that figure increases when factoring in responses from Generation Z.
The survey found 71 per cent of people aged 18 to 28 years would rather spend their income on hobbies, adventures and time with friends.
But even these types of purchases are out of reach for many young people.
Australian National University undergraduate Charley Elwood said students' finances are squeezed so tightly it's hard to dream about major purchases like buying a home.
"This is a time we're meant to be making memories but when you're working 40 hours a week on top of a uni workload just to keep up with rent - how are we supposed to do that?" he said.
"We should be able to spend our money going out to dinner with friends or taking a day trip somewhere outside the city but we've got to scrape to pay our rent," he said.
The report found 22 per cent of Australians were "not at all" satisfied with their financial situation and the majority of people or 55 per cent, were "somewhat" satisfied.
"Over the past few months I've needed to get an excel spreadsheet running and look at upcoming expenses," Mr Elwood said.
"Sometimes it's hard to figure out where the money's going to come from," he said.
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According to the research, 30 per cent of Australians didn't receive any financial education in childhood and they wanted to address that financial illiteracy in adulthood.
"Many Australians would have appreciated more financial education in their younger years to enable them to make more informed financial decisions," Mr Mota said.
"We know financial literacy shapes the relationship people have with money, so in order to encourage financial wellbeing, Australians need to receive practical education and guidance, especially in their youth," he said.
More than two thirds of people surveyed said they were dedicating more time this year to learning how to maximise their income.
Generation Z was more likely to be searching for that information compared to their older counterparts, the report found.
"The need to educate ourselves is exposing how tight young peoples' budgets are," Mr Elwood said.
"Is this what young people should be thinking about? I think we should be able to enjoy our lives a bit more," he said.
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