On the radio this morning, I listened to a discussion on the topic of quarter-life crises where the host described a quarter-life crisis as being a period of stress and re-evaluation of life by individuals in their 20’s or early 30’s. Many callers who thought they were experiencing a quarter-life crisis mentioned their current financial situation and how they wish they were in a different place at this phase in their life. At 26, the discussion definitely got me thinking. What major life-changing events do those in their 20’s need to start planning for to be financially prepared and help avoid a quarter-life crisis? Below are a few milestones those in their 20’s or early 30’s may experience and several free financial resources that can help at each.
Experiencing the "real world"
Whether pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, most individuals graduate sometime in their 20’s. With a new degree usually come a new job and a new financial situation. Managing personal finances for the first time can be overwhelming, but MMI offers financial education resources covering a variety of topics from paying off your student loans to saving for emergencies and retirement. If you can’t find what you’re looking for through the resources or financial tools, submit your question to the Advice Team to receive a personal response.
Marriage is not only a major emotional commitment but a financial one as well, and may be something to start thinking about, engaged or not. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age at first marriage for a man or woman in 2009 was under 30 years of age. If you’re in a serious relationship, you and your potential spouse should have a discussion about your financial situation before you walk down that aisle. Read more on how to sustain a happy, healthy relationship through smart money management in the Love and Money eBook.
Buying your first home
The average age for a first-time homebuyer is 33 years old, according to an article from the National Association of Home Builders. Since a home will likely be the largest purchase you make in your lifetime, understanding the ins and outs of the home buying process should be high priority. MMI offers a variety of homebuyer workshops in-person, webinars, and articles to help alleviate some of the stress involved in buying and maintaining your biggest financial asset.
Becoming a new parent
For some in their 20s, becoming a new parent may seem miles away, but according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, the average age of a first-time mom was 25 in 2008. Having a baby will certainly affect your finances, but fortunately, you will have nine months to prepare. Get budgeting tips and family finance advice, and start your lifestyle of making wise financial decisions for your growing family.
Of all the momentous experiences in life and factors contributing to a quarter-life crisis, a financial crisis definitely should not be one of them. MMI offers a variety of financial resources to help you learn how to set a foundation of good personal finance skills—no matter what stage of life you’re in.