Why putting off “adulting” is not good for your finances

Written by Rebecca O'Connor on 26th Sep 2018

Arrested development is not just a nineties pop sensation – it’s also a phenomenon for six in ten British adults aged between 25 and 44.

One of the consequences of everlasting youth, according to Absolute Radio, is that “people can be late starting to think about their finances in a serious way”.

The result of this is only a minority – one in five – saying they are a saver, and only half of people in this age group having taken out a mortgage or pension.

Instead, the activities they identify with, according to the research, are: “going to gigs, playing video games and building LEGO sets.”

The research was conducted by Absolute Radio, whose spokesman said: “We’ve seen lots of stories about people growing up later, and holding onto their youth as long as possible.

“People are tending to get married and have children later, which allows them to continue with childhood hobbies much longer.

“There’s no telling whether this is a good or bad thing, but it does mean people can be late to start thinking about their finances in a serious way.”

Read the Good Guide to Finances at 40

Some of the main activities ‘reluctant adults’ refuse to grow out of include going to gigs and festivals, playing video games and building LEGO sets – without kids nearby.

Others find themselves adding to collections of comics, football stickers or Star Wars action figures.

Top activities “kidults” don’t want to let go of, according to Absolute Radio

Going to gigs and festivals


Collecting – from comics, star wars figures to football stickers

Playing board games

Constructing LEGO (without the kids)

Rock Pooling

Enjoying superhero films

Theme parks

Kidult your life? Sure, but not your money

Rebecca O’Connor, Good With Money

Top ways to “adult” your money

  • Pay into a pension – choose the maximum possible workplace contribution. If you are self-employed, set up a private pension. Have a play around with this calculator on PensionBee here to work out how much to put in for what income in retirement.
  • Save. Even more adult is to have different types of savings for different purposes. More adult still is to invest rather than save – interest rates are so pathetically low when compared to inflation – the smart grown-ups are dabbling in the stock market, whether that’s via funds on a platform or an app that lets them pick their own companies, for better returns.
  • Review your spending every month. Do this for several months and think about the patterns and habits you can see.
  • Set long term financial goals – not just the week, month or year ahead.
  • Think about spending as “what you are investing in”. If doing so makes you realise that all you “invest in” is your own entertainment, maybe enrol on a training course or something that will turn your spare time into more money in future.

Read the guide to hipster money

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