Are you experiencing a quarter life crisis

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.

Getting married

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.

Anna Kronzer is a former marketing specialist and program manager at MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.