For better or worse, life is full of events that we consider to be milestones, such as buying a home, getting married and having children. These are all things that can mark the next phase in our lives and, as a result, many people put a lot of importance on achieving them.
However, research from LV= has shown that quite a lot of 30-35-year-olds fear life’s milestones because of the hefty price tag they often come with. In fact, a quarter of them told LV= that they feel worried about the impact milestones will have on their finances, with 17% actually putting milestones off because of it.
What’s the cause?
If Noddle’s own research is anything to go by, one of the things that could be holding 30-35 year-olds back is the fact that they may be credit virgins.
A credit virgin is an adult who has no credit history, often relying on the bank of Mum and Dad or even asking their parents to take credit out for them in their name. Between 2012 and 2017, the number of adults in the UK that could be classed as credit virgins increased 9 percentage points to 36%, suggesting this is a growing epidemic.
The problem with avoiding borrowing is that when you need to take out credit for one of life’s milestones, for example, you don’t have a credit report lenders can use to assess whether or not it’s safe for them to lend to you.
However, this isn’t the only reason why 30-35-year-olds may fear the financial fallout of life’s milestones. According to LV=, there’s also a general lack of financial resilience amongst 30-35year-olds.
43% claim to not feel confident about handing a financial crisis and 73% don’t meet the Money Advice Service’s recommended guidelines for financial resilience.
This inability to whether a financial storm likely means that there isn’t much appetite to plough cash into something expensive, like a wedding.
Dr David Lewis, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, also believes there is an element of ‘sticking your head in the sand’.
“There are multiple reasons this age group isn’t properly preparing for financial risks,” he said. “A universal emphasis on the importance of ‘staying young’ means many people are in a state of denial or avoidance when it comes to facing up to the future. We also tend to talk within – rather than across – generational groups, which encourages us to focus inwardly on the present, not the future.
“Previously younger generations would likely inherit their parents’ estate while relatively young, but increased life expectancy means this is no longer the case. By not giving proper weight to their
financial status, this group could be at risk of finding themselves with a significant level of responsibility without adequate financial preparation or protection.”
Getting 30-35-year-olds back in control of their finances
Whilst there are some things – such as rising cost of living and slowing wage growth – that are out of the control of 30-35-year-olds, all is not lost.
The internet means there’s loads of financial tips, tricks and general education right at your fingertips. Our Help Hub and our blog might be great places to start to help you with the financial basics, such as credit reports and credit, jargon busting, managing debt and getting your finances in order.
Learning how to budget should be top of your list of things to do, because you can’t save for milestones or borrow cash until your finances are in order. We have a realistic guide to budgeting for millennials that may help get you on track.
Let’s face it, saving money isn’t fun. However, it’s important, not only for completing life’s key milestones but for ensuring you have a financial ‘buffer’ should you need it. See our doable tips for saving here.
Getting a credit report and score
Your credit report and score are your financial passport, helping you to do things like get a mortgage, take out a loan or credit card, or even get a mobile phone contract. However, if you’re not on the electoral roll or you don’t have enough previous experience of borrowing, you may not have a credit report and score yet.
Luckily, there are things you can do to start building up your credit history. Find out more here.
 Noddle commissioned ICM Unlimited to ask a series of questions of parents and adult children, polling a representative GB sample online. The polling ran between 3-4th April 2012 and again between 25th-28th August 2017 (five year gap) with questions repeated verbatim or near verbatim (some additional questions were added).