Category Archives: Personal Finance

Financial Adulthood: What It Is & How It’s Changed

Financial adulthood. It’s a term that’s been circulating the internet for a while now. But what does it mean? What does it mean to be an adult in the financial sense? And how has our definition of financial adulthood changed from one generation to the next?

“Financial adulthood can come at any age,” says financial planner Sophia Bera, founder of Gen Y Planning. “It’s being comfortable talking about and taking ownership of your money. Instead of just letting your financial situation happen to you, you’re using your money to match your values and live your dream.”

Still, our societal notion of financial adulthood has changed. Let’s explore the concept of financial adulthood and what has changed in terms of how we define what makes a financially mature human.

What is financial adulthood?

Of course, financial adulthood is a loose term that will have a different definition for each person. Yet, some accomplishments that signal a person is well-developed in terms of financial responsibility. Here are a few:

  • You have a debit and credit card and pay your credit card bills on time.
  • You have a good credit score and keep track of its changes.
  • You have insurance.
  • You have a budget and spend less than you earn.
  • You’ve paid off debt or are actively working towards paying it off.
  • You have a savings account and an emergency fund.
  • You are saving for retirement.
  • You have financial goals and are actively working towards them.

How our definition of financial adulthood has changed

The milestones that made one an adult used to be pretty clear-cut. The notion of adulthood looked like a full-time job, a house, a car, a spouse, and a baby or two. All of this was expected to be achieved by or around age thirty. Back in the 80s, when the show Thirtysomething was released, that was all pretty attainable.

But things have changed. These days, it’s less common for young adults to attain all of these milestones (financial, personal, and career) within the time frame of previous generations. Why that is is a complicated question, but there’s no doubt something has changed.

Younger generations are less financially independent than ever before 

Cornerstones of adulthood are increasingly being put on the back-burner, including marriage, kids, home ownership, and financial adulthood. But that’s probably not because the younger generations have “Peter Pan syndrome.” 

More likely, it is because of financial stress. NerdWallet reports that “The median net worth of millennial households was $12,500 in 2016 compared with $20,700 for baby boomers of the same age in 1983.” This disparity could be because of today’s higher cost of living and higher rates of student debt.

Twenty and thirty-somethings are less financially independent than ever before. This financial strain was present even before the pandemic set in. Millennials and Gen-Z are also less interested in achieving the traditional milestones of adulthood early on (or at all), instead forging their own paths and defining financial adulthood in their own terms.

How COVID-19 is Reshaping Millennial Saving Habits

The coronavirus pandemic has caused the most substantial economic rift to the U.S. economy since the Great Recession of 2008. Due to quarantining policies and business shutdowns, the nation’s unemployment rate reached a staggering 14.4% in April 2020, according to Pew Research

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5 Simple Ways to Minimize Food Spend

Splurging on delicious treats is one of life’s many pleasures. And sure, the occasional frozen yogurt here and Chipotle takeout there won’t make much of a dent in your wallet. However, with the average American household spending $7,203 a year on food, it does make you wonder where corners can be cut. 

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4 Tips to Spring Clean Your Finances

Spring cleaning might be a heinous thought, and it might usually apply to cleaning the house. However, everyone could do with spring cleaning their finances once in a while. Whether it be clearing some old debts, creating a few more spreadsheets or completing your tax statement, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your finances sparkling clean.

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Protecting Your Finances During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Reminders to wash our hands, to keep social distance, and to avoid sneezing and coughing in public have become an almost daily occurrence in the media.  But physical health is not our only concern in the face of stock market plunges, rising unemployment, and forced business closures.

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Old School Personal Finance Habits That Still Work

Among the flurry of “new year, new me” sentiments, there’s one thing that often gets overlooked: the value of tried and true. There’s a lot of outdated advice in the world of personal finance — things your grandparents believed that maybe don’t apply so much anymore. However, there are a number of old-school personal finance habits that still test true.

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