People reach financial maturity at 31, new survey suggests

…and there’s a four-year age gap between men and women when it comes to people feeling in control of their money.

Tom Harrison
Content writer
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Posted 30 SEPTEMBER 2019

New research suggests that 31 is the average age when most Brits feel in control of their finances.

The survey – from peer-to-peer lender Zopa – showed that men start feeling good about managing their money at 29, while women feel the same four years later at 33.

The research looked at several factors as indicators of financial control, including having a pension and levels of credit card spending.

The study found:

  • Almost two thirds of people who responded (66%) thought that regularly paying into a savings account was the top indicator of being good with money
  • The next highest indicator was having a pension plan (55%), while more than half (53%) felt that shopping around for the best deal on purchases was key
  • Nearly a fifth (19%) said they were able to start saving in their mid- to late- 30s as they had fewer weekends, such as stag dos, hen dos or weddings, to pay for
  • 21% admitted they went out for drinks too often, while 19% said they treat themselves to too many takeaways
  • More than half of over 35s (57%) said they were far more likely to want to spend an evening at home than when they were in their twenties

The study also suggested that small actions are seen as demonstrating a financially savvy attitude, with 31% believing taking a packed lunch to the office is a sign of strong money management.

Meanwhile, Brits felt they were at their most financially frivolous at the age of 22. At this age, respondents said they splashed out more on unnecessary items, spent too much on nights out and bought too many clothes.

Young people get help from the ‘Tank of Mum and Dad’

The figures are interesting in the light of a new annual report from Compare the Market released earlier this year.

The report, titled The Tank of Mum and Dad, showed that more than half (52%) of 17-24-year-old drivers got financial support from their parents to help them stay on the road, with almost a third of parents said that they paid some or all the costs of their child’s first year of driving.

Parents across the UK spend an average of £762 on their child’s motoring costs, adding up to around £2 billion a year nationwide.

But 80% of young people and 86% of their parents say that young people’s salaries and savings are not high enough to cover the cost of driving.