Why the cost-of-living crisis is making young adults put their lives ‘on hold’’


Up to three quarters of young adults – 76% – plan to put life events ‘on hold’ due to the cost-of-living crisis, a survey by Starling Bank has found.

The research, which harvested opinion from 2,000 UK adults, compared age groups and quizzed about stresses related to household budgets and actions being taken to mitigate rising costs.

The study found that those under 35 are twice as likely to be anxious about budgets or be relying on credit to help with the cost of living than their older counterparts who are over 55. The former age group is also more likely to be cutting back on spending and 33% – one in three – are checking their bank balances daily.

In addition, more than 27% of young adults are deferring major purchases like a car or a home renovation, while 26% are postponing holidays and 17% say they are holding off on buying a house. The study also found that 12% are even putting off starting a family.

Starling highlighted that among those respondents who regularly set up a personal budget, many typically go over by £92 a month, compared to £108 for those under 35 and £64 for the over 55s.

While 77% of young people were found to set budgets and try to stick to them, it was discover to bring up negative feelings such as anxiety in 45% of respondents, annoyance in 18%, fear in 20%, confusion in 11% and hopelessness in 14%.

To manage these challenges, Starling recently launched a budget planner to support users in controlling their money and planning ahead. The online tool will be available to everyone and captures spending across essential bills as well as unpredictable expenses.

Starling Bank chief banking officer Helen Bierton said, “The cost of living crisis is forcing us all to look at our personal and household finances more closely, and it’s clear that young adults are trying to cushion themselves by taking a proactive approach to money management through the sacrifices and financial choices they are making.

“Yet when it comes to budgeting, our research tells us that it’s the missing detail in everyday spending that often results in unexpected costs that are more difficult to plan for. We’ve created a tool that can help identify all outgoings to avoid expenses like loved ones birthdays or insurance renewals coming in as an unpleasant surprise.”

The total volume of international digital remittances will exceed two billion in 2027, up from just over 1.1 billion in 2022, according to a report from Juniper Research.

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