Research says you’re not REALLY an adult unless you pay for these things on your own

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A new study from OnePoll and First Internet Bank examines the importance of financial education and reveals the top things one must do before being considered financially independent. (Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash)

Americans would have gladly swapped out a math class or two in order to receive a better education when it came to their own personal finances, according to new research.

A third of millennials would have cut geometry from their school curriculum in favor of personal finance — and other common classes respondents would boot included trigonometry (31%), algebra (30%), gym (29%) and chemistry (28%).

Nearly three in four (73%) wished they had a better education in personal finance and four in five (79%) think personal finance classes should have been a part of their high school curriculum.

A recent study of 2,000 millennials examined the confidence they had in their personal financial knowledge — and how they viewed their path to independence with regard to money.

Of those who no longer live in their childhood home, it took the average respondent three years before they felt completely financially independent.

A large part of that financial confidence came from the first “adult” job. It took a little time and a few paychecks for respondents to feel secure in their first grown-up position ‒ the average respondent was at their first job for six months before they felt comfortable with their bank statement.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of First Internet Bank, revealed it took the average 19 year old 3.5 years after moving out on their own to feel like they achieved financial independence.

Results found the majority of respondents receive a little help from family and friends when they make their fresh start, with the average millennial getting $1,030.47 in monetary aid.

Even with the help, respondents admitted certain boxes had to be ticked themselves in order to be financially independent.

Forty-seven percent named paying the rent or mortgage as an integral part of becoming financially independent. Other top markers of independence included paying for utilities (45%), food (43%), transportation (40%) and the internet (36%).

Still, seven in 10 think you can remain on the family cell phone plan and be considered financially independent.

“The lack of financial literacy among millennials — and all generations, for that matter — is a serious societal concern,” said First Internet Bank Chief Operating Officer Nicole Lorch. “A growing focus in our industry is to help bridge the gap and provide financial education, which is critical to young adults who are seeking independence, but discovering for the first time what it’s like relying on their own fiscal resources.”

While paying the bills makes up a large part of adulthood, they’re not the only aspects of grown-up life millennials have found stressful.

Two in five said renting their first apartment was a major source of stress when starting out on their own. A third of respondents named applying for their first credit card, and 32% thought paying taxes on their own for the first time was a nerve-wracking aspect of adulthood.

While those experiences are universal, many respondents feel like their friends are ahead of the curve when it comes to their financial well-being. One in four think their peers are better than them at keeping track of their dough.

Two-thirds of respondents confessed they wouldn’t identify themselves as “very confident” in their own knowledge of personal finance.

“We can all relate to the anxiety of starting out on our own and making the right choices,” Lorch added. “Cutting-edge technology and great rates are only part of the equation for Millennials. To be most effective, we strive to create personal connections with customers to better understand their financial goals and help to achieve them.”

TOP MOVING OUT STRESSORS
1. Renting first apartment 41%
2. Buying first home 35%
3. Applying for first credit card 33%
4. Pay taxes first time alone 32%
5. Understanding first bank statement 31%
6. First night I moved out 29%
7. Applying for first loan 26%
8. Learning to budget 25%
9. Establishing my credit 24%
10. Getting own health insurance 24%

TOP ITEMS TO PAY FOR TO BE FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT
1. Rent/mortgage 47%
2. Utilities 45%
3. Food 43%
4. Transportation 40%
5. Internet 36%
6. Health insurance 34%
7. Cell phone bill 34%
8. Medical expenses 33%
9. Pay own credit card 31%
10. Home/renter insurance 30%
11. Car insurance 29%
12. Car lease/purchase 28%
13. Streaming services 28%
14. Cable 26%
15. Student loan bills 25%

TOP CLASSES TO SWAP OUT FOR PERSONAL FINANCE
1. Geometry 33%
2. Trigonometry 31%
3. Algebra 30%
4. Gym 29%
5. Chemistry 28%
6. Physics 26%
7. Music 23%
8. Art history 21%
9. History 21%
10. English literature 21%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<
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