Women are reaching financial adulthood before men, new study finds


In all the key indicators across the board, millennial women are achieving milestones that they defined as representing financial adulthood quicker than their male counterparts, according to a new study.

The barometers of success are many, but a few include a steady job, ability to take care of a child, and owning/leasing a car, the study said. Call it battle of the Lexus.

The findings come from Earnest.com, which partnered with Ipsos, an independent research company, and Amino, a health-care transparency firm, to come up with some interesting results on what is colloquially called #Adulting. The findings, culled from 1,013 U.S. adults, were conducted July 14-18 on behalf of Earnest and Amino.

Survey: Millennial gender gap evident when it comes to money matters

When asked to come up with three milestones that represented adulthood, the top two chosen by most millennials were working a steady job, which garnered 54% of the responses, and purchasing a home (51%). The results fly in the face of conventional views that indicate millennials, the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. job force, were job-hoppers or apathetic toward working hard.

One reason for the disparity could be education: A 2016 study from the Pew Research Center shows that young women were more likely to finish college than young men. Millennial women aged 25 to 29 were 7 percentage points more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree, the research shows.

RELATED: 23 ways you can improve your finances today

Another reason for the gap between the sexes may be findings released this summer from a group of economists with the National Bureau of Economic Research. That study’s authors concluded that the popularity of video games — specifically how good they’ve gotten — gives insight into why young men are putting in fewer hours on the job while their female counterparts toil away at work.

In any case, in the Earnings.com survey, more millennial women said that they paid off their student loans (38% to 35%); have their own insurance (74% to 53%) and are managing their own taxes (75% to 52%).

The new study also contradicts the notion that young people are less concerned with money matters than other generations. The Earnest.com figures show that 71% of millennials use a budgeting tool or keep a monthly budget. The figure was only 41% for groups.


And before you conclude that it’s just a generational thing, consider this: Young people, as shown by an April Pew Center study, are just as likely to stay on the job as Generation Xers; in fact, college-educated millennials were demonstrated to stay on the job longer than their predecessors who were a similar age in 2000.

And, in a dashboard signal that shows that young people are fiscally responsible where it counts, 68% of them said they could part with $500 in an emergency and not be financially crippled by it.

As encouraging as these numbers are, it’s not time to break out the beer pong yet; more than two-thirds of young people surveyed said that they aren’t saving anything for retirement.

Money expert Clark Howard advises that saving early can lead to more financial freedom down the line. “The goal of everything I do is to help you keep more of what you make,” he said.

RELATED: 7 ways to know if you’re saving enough money

Four ways to kickstart your savings

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