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Money and Finances – Young Adults’ Biggest Concerns

by J. Money on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

100% Of Youngsters...Or what this survey should have been called – “I’ve got my mind on my money, and my money on my mind!” Haha… AARP revealed some research that in this age of social networking and excessive sharing, the last taboo for young adults is finances – despite the fact it’s the biggest concern in their (our) lives.

The report, titled “Personal Finances: The Final Frontier of Social Media,” shows that our general reluctance to discuss money with friends and family could have a negative impact on our financial futures. While none of it was all that surprising, it’s still something we should keep in mind and continue working to fix. In response to it all (or rather, perhaps to back it up?) AARP came out with a new site dedicated to getting our acts together: LifeTuner.org.

I thought I’d copy and paste some of their findings, along with my own two cents here. The highlights are based on a national survey of 1002 young adults, aged 18-34:

57% of young Americans consider their financial situation to be the biggest concern in their lives.
Eh, not surprising. It sucks, but it’s not a big shock. When we’re out of high school & college we getting our first apartments and cars and all in order – two of the biggest expenditures right off the bat. Throw in socializing (aka drinking), shopping, and dating and you’ve got a brand new pile of debits heading your way. Hopefully your spankin’ new job pays well enough to keep you out of trouble, but as we all know salaries aren’t what determines savvy saving skills.

I’d really like to know what the #2 concern with young Americans is. I bet it’s career – which would also cross paths with the financial world as well.

…People are more likely to discuss relationship status (61%), politics (43%), their health (23%), and their weight (20%) than their financial situation.
Of course! Money talk is all sorts of taboo around here (outside the pf blog world, that is). I’d say we’re a lot further than we were before this economic crisis hit the fan, but we’ve still got a ways to go.

66% rate their own financial situation as fair to poor, and almost half (43%) expressed concerns about their ability to make sound financial decisions.
This is scary :( Especially that last part. If you’re doubting whether your making the right moves in your financial life, it’s time to start learning brother! Close down Facebook and put down the Wii, you need to start reading more financial sites. I’d start out at Money.com, Kiplinger.com, and put in an order for The Richest Man in Babylon and I Will Teach You To Be Rich books. One hour there will get you started in no time.

68% of respondents admit that finances have caused stress in a relationship or friendship.
Yeah, especially when they go around poking you for your salary ;) But sure, this makes total sense. If you’re buggin’ about all that debt you have piling on it’ll of course stick to you when you’re out and about hanging out with people. Or even worse on a date! Nothing says I Love You more than when your card bounces or you “forget your wallet” when it comes time to picking up dinner.

*Among those young adults who have sought advice online, 85% report being more confident about their ability to manage their finances.*
Well would you look at that :) You research/read/look for ways to get your finances on track and voila! You feel better about it. While this, too, isn’t all that surprising, it IS something to keep in mind. Your finances is one department that 45 mins of your time could literally save you thousands of dollars.


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