Americans would have gladly swapped out a math class or two in order to receive a better education when it came to their own personal finances, according to new research. A third of millennials would have cut geometry from their school curriculum in favor of personal finance — and other common classes respondents would boot included trigonometry (31 percent), algebra (30 percent), gym (29 percent) and chemistry (28 percent).
Nearly three in four (73 percent) wished they had a better education in personal finance and four in five (79 percent) think personal finance classes should have been a part of their high school curriculum.
A recent study of 2,000 millennials examined the confidence they had in their personal financial knowledge — and how they viewed their path to independence with regard to money. Of those who no longer live in their childhood home, it took the average respondent three years before they felt completely financially independent.
A large part of that financial confidence came from the first “adult” job. It took a little time and a few paychecks for respondents to feel secure in their first grown-up position ‒ the average respondent was at their first job for six months before they felt comfortable with their bank statement. The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of First Internet Bank, revealed it took the average 19-year-old 3.5 years after moving out on their own to feel like they achieved financial independence.
Results found the majority of respondents receive a little help from family and friends when they make their fresh start, with the average millennial getting $1,030.47 in monetary aid. Even with the help, respondents admitted certain boxes had to be ticked themselves in order to be financially independent.
Forty-seven percent named paying the rent or mortgage as an integral part of becoming financially independent. Other top markers of independence included paying for utilities (45 percent), food (43 percent), transportation (40 percent) and the internet (36 percent). Still, seven in 10 think you can remain on the family cell phone plan and be considered financially independent.
“The lack of financial literacy among millennials – and all generations, for that matter – is a serious societal concern,” said First Internet Bank Chief Operating Officer Nicole Lorch. “A growing focus in our industry is to help bridge the gap and provide financial education, which is critical to young adults who are seeking independence, but discovering for the first time what it’s like relying on their own fiscal resources.” While paying the bills makes up a large part of adulthood, they’re not the only aspects of grown-up life millennials have found stressful.