Transitioning from a teenager to an adult is a process, and many individuals say they don’t feel like they have matured into the latter as of yet.
The Clark University Poll of Emerging Adults revealed that 51 percent of respondents between 18 and 29 do not feel as though they are truly grown up, namely because they have failed to reach the same level of financial independence enjoyed by previous generations. Instead, many said they feel like adults in some areas of their lives, but not others. While 36 percent said that adulthood is defined as an ability to take care of themselves, 30 percent say that attaining financial freedom is the mark of being grown up.
Most of the respondents – 63 percent – said they still receive assistance from their parents, whether it be spending money or help paying their bills. Due to the bleak job market and national student loan debt levels, some analysts say that this trend is likely to continue for a sizable number of recent graduates. However, the scenario is having an adverse effect on many young adults, with 56 percent of study participants saying they often feel anxious due to their lack of financial security.
While some individuals may not have significant financial means, there are still several ways they can take steps toward independence, and begin building a savings fund. While Americans of all ages and incomes should formulate a budget each month to help discipline spending, it’s even more crucial for young adults with limited means to develop a money management plan. This allows them to ensure they are meeting all of their obligations and prioritizing their individual goals, which include managing student loan payments effectively, paying down credit card debt, saving for a home or contributing to retirement. Regardless of their goals, a budget can put more focus on where they stand financially and force them to prioritize their spending to accomplish short- and long-term aspirations.
Lastly, those who are managing their funds for the first time should consider visiting a credit counseling service to learn more about effective savings strategies of which they may be unaware. There are several resources that may be able to help individuals get out from under debt or make better use of their current income.