Most Australians begin “financially adulting” when they’re between 21 and 25, but some don’t take their finances seriously until they’re in their 30s, new research finds.
The study from Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) service Openpay found one-in-10 didn’t begin taking their money seriously until after they turned 30, and one-in-three until after they were 25.
The most common definition of “financially adulting” was spending less than they made each month, while relatively few considered investing in the stock market, property or owning their home as the definition of financial responsibility.
“There’s a steep curve to adulting. It feels like one day like the world is your oyster and the next you’re debating how cost-effective it is to get private health insurance to pay for your new glasses, or coming to terms with an unexpected vet bill for your cavoodle,” said Openpay CEO, Michael Eidel.
“Part of financial adulting is managing your cashflow; making sure you have enough money at the end of each month to cover your costs, but also being able to afford the things that bring you joy.”
Most respondents said paying for household bills was the moment when they began to become more responsible with their finances, while paying for groceries and car insurance and registration also ranked higher.
Health insurance, phone bills and taking on a mortgage were other common triggers for financial responsibility.
Unsurprisingly, most respondents said the main thing they wished they’d been taught at school was to save money effectively and how to live on a budget, followed closely by how to manage cashflow and their taxes.