Are Millennials More Responsible Than Their Parents?

Print Email

The millennial generation of Americans takes a lot of lumps for being coddled, even spoiled rotten, and for expecting that coddling and spoiling to last a long time. Millennials, however, see the situation differently.

A recent survey by Bankrate.com found that median age by which most Americans think people should be living on their own and paying their own bills is around 23. Millennials ages 18 through 36 think that people should be living and be paying on their own at the age of 22.

Millennials also think people should pay for their own cars at 20.5 years of age and pay their own cell phone bills at 18.5. Baby boomers, the parents of some of these same millennials, think 23.5 is the right age for people to begin paying for the own housing, 22 is the right age for paying for a car and 20 is the right age for paying your own cell phone bill.

In fact, of all four age groups in the survey, millennials are the harshest when it comes to ending parental support. GenXers think 19 is the right age to start paying your own cell phone bills, 20.75 is the right age to pay for your own car, and 23 is the right age to pay for your own housing.

The silent generation (ages 72 and older) are more in line with the boomers, although they don’t think people need to start paying for their own housing until they are 25.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and the right age to do anything is arguable. But Bankrate’s Cashlorette, aka Sarah Berger, herself a millennial, has some tips for getting off the dole from your parents as soon as possible:

  • If you live with your parents, pay them rent and have them deposit the monthly rent check in an account you can use to help finance your first independent place to live.
  • Live within your means. Figure out a what it would be costing you to pay for your lifestyle and use the money to pay down your student loans or build an emergency savings fund. No Caribbean vacations for a while.
  • Make a schedule that helps you ease into setting out on your own.

Berger has more tips and a handy checklist available at the Bankrate website.