29 August 2017: Great Expectations is the most appropriate descriptor for the ambitions of British adults, as they aim to own their first car at 21 years old, settle down at 23, and get onto the property ladder at 27.
What’s more, while achieving all this before reaching 30 might seem aspirational, new research also found that on average, Brits expect to become parents by the age of 27.
After canvassing over 2,000 adults, the research commissioned by comparethemarket.com – which aimed to size up just how much our expectations around key milestones match up to the reality – found that when it comes to matters of the heart, we’re impressively accurate in our predictions.
On average, the nation’s adults have had two long-term relationships, tied the knot at the age of 26 – also in line with expectations – whilst first-time parents welcomed their first child by the age of 27.
When it comes to aspirations around home ownership, most Brits expected to own their first property by the age of 27 – and achieved just that.
However, in contrast, Brits were less savvy when it came to predictions regarding their finances, with those polled consistently earning less and spending more than they thought they would be.
Although Brits aged between 30-39 years old expected to earn £28,000 by the time they were 30, the majority admitted that they actually earned an average of just over £24,500 by that age.
Likewise, those aged between 40-49 years old expected to earn just over £29,000 by the time they were 40 when, in reality, they earned just under £24,800 per year.
Similarly, Brits were worryingly off the mark when it came to the cost of running a car. Although the car-owners polled expected to spend a total of £950 a year to cover related expenses (i.e. petrol, MOT, car insurance, maintenance), they admitted to actually spending over £1,500 a year on average.