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By Tyler Schmall
Do you wash your sheets regularly, watch the news and get to bed before 11 p.m.? Congratulations - you’re officially an adult, according to new research.
A new study of 2,000 millennials into “adulting,” the concept that certain activities and responsibilities are performed only by fully mature adults, found that some of our most mundane everyday tasks are actually a milestone for maturity.
The research compiled the 40 factors that make someone an adult, according to millennials. The number one sign of adulting is having a steady job (78 percent), but as many as half say just doing their own laundry makes them feel like an adult.
Dealing with conflict better also proved to be a big sign of being an adult, as one in four millennials say confronting someone in person instead of blasting them on social media is now considered “adulting.”
The survey, conducted by Mattress Firm, found that filing your own taxes was a big sign of maturity as well, but curiously, women find it to be substantially more adult, with 66 percent of women saying it’s a sign of adulting compared to just 45 percent of men.
Many millennials feel bogged down by their circumstances, however, as more than half (52 percent) believe the current economic climate makes it impossible for people to grow up and “adult” faster than they’d like, and 15 percent of millennials still do not actually consider themselves to be a true adult.
A major part of adulting is gaining control of your finances, and millennials proved cautious when it comes to spending.
42 percent of millennials believe that a “big purchase” falls somewhere between the $500-$2,500 range, and they won’t make it haphazardly. From buying a mattress to leasing a car, the average millennial will do 4.6 hours of research before buying. Millennials also defer to input from others, with one in five actually consulting four or more people for their opinion on a purchase.
“Doing research before making a big purchase can make all the difference,” said Kathryn Siegling, Mattress Firm’s Vice President of Advertising. “There are several resources available such as online reviews, blogs and even guides on the best time to buy that can help save you money on a larger purchase. If you find yourself overwhelmed with too many options, recommendations from friends and family are the best resources to help you narrow down your choices.”
According to the survey, 63 percent of millennials’ overall spending goes toward necessities, proving that they’re more financially responsible than people might think. In fact, nearly half (41 percent) of millennials are currently saving for retirement.
Not only that, but more than 35 percent of millennials pay off their entire credit card bill each month, and 69 percent will actually turn down social events with friends for financial reasons.
The majority (65 percent) are also more likely to buy something they have immediate interest in a few months later if they can get it at a discounted price.
But that doesn’t mean they’re flowing with riches either, as nearly six in ten (58 percent) don’t even have enough money for a major medical emergency, and only three in four (76 percent) are paying their own rent or mortgage.
"Whether we like it or not, ‘adulting’ can be expensive,” Siegling said. “But big purchases don’t have to cost a fortune and can be a smart investment in the long run. Waiting for the right time to buy or saving extra cash can make those larger expenses easier to take on. Once you’re ready to buy, finding the best value for a “big purchase” can help stretch your budget further.”