People hit financial maturity at age of 31, survey suggests

People feel they have reached “financial maturity” aged 31 on average – and are at their most frivolous with their spending at the age of 22, research has suggested.

Men typically feel in control of their money at a younger age than women – at 29 compared with 33, the survey from peer-to-peer lending company Zopa found.

About two-thirds (66%) of people believe that regularly paying into a savings account is a top indicator of being good with money.

More than half (55%) believe that having a pension plan is a sign of financial maturity and 53% think always shopping around for the best deals is an indicator.

  • You have a savings account that you regularly pay into
  • You have a pension plan
  • You shop around for the best deals

Nearly half (49%) identify never being overdrawn as another sign of having a strong grasp on their finances.

Around a third (31%) believe taking a packed lunch into work is a sign of being good with money.

Looking at what may push people towards over-spending, social media pressures, on holidays and clothes for example, could be a factor the survey found.

However, some people said they had naturally started spending less on social activities after reaching their mid-30s – perhaps because some were spending more evenings at home while raising young children.

Among people surveyed who were aged over 35, 57% said they would be more inclined to spend an evening at home than when they were aged in their 20s.

The same proportion in this age group said that when they do go out, they spend less money now they are older.

A further 19% in this age group said they were able to start saving more in their mid to late 30s as they had fewer weekends, stag dos, hen dos or weddings to pay for.

The survey of 1,500 people also found the age of 22 is when people think they had been most inclined to be irresponsible with their spending.

At this age, many people said they had splashed out more on unnecessary items, spent too much on nights-out and bought too many clothes.

Here are the top signs someone is good with money, according to Zopa’s survey, followed by the percentages of people surveyed who agreed:
1. You have a savings account that you regularly pay into, 66%
2. You have a pension plan, 55%
3. You shop around for the best deals, 53%
4. You are never in your overdraft, 49%
=5. You pay off your credit card bills monthly, 45%
=5. You use loyalty cards, 45%
=7. You have a “rainy day” fund, 40%
=7. You know the exact balance of your account at all times, 40%
=9. You don’t lend cash to friends if you are not likely to get it back, 37%
10. You prepare lunch to take to work, 31%

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