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All Grown Up

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Having a mortgage, owning a ‘best’ crockery set and being able to bleed a radiator are just some of the signs of being a ‘Grown Up’, it has been revealed.

The findings emerged in a study of 2,000 people, which uncovers the 50 things which show you have become a fully-fledged adult. No longer relying on mum and dad for financial decisions, being able to cook an evening meal from scratch and owning a lawn mower were all highlighted as key signs of adulthood.

Other indicators of maturity included getting married, having a view on politics, taking trips to the local tip, and washing up immediately after eating. Interestingly, the research shows most people don’t feel like a proper grown up until they are at least 26 years old.

Tracy Fletcher, Head of Corporate Communications for Skipton Building Society, which conducted the research, said: ”The top 50 list makes for an interesting read.

”Many of the indicators are things which people need to have mastered – such as looking after the house and garden, being able to cook and taking responsibility when it comes to personal finances.

”But other factors are the key milestones in life – such as buying a house, getting married and having children – things which are happening at a later age due to economic circumstances, job security and so on.

”Owning a house topped the poll as two thirds of Brits felt this was the most significant factor when it comes to aging and accepting responsibility, and yet it is now harder than ever to step foot on the property ladder.”

The study shows Brits only feel grown up when they start planting flowers in the garden, are able to change a light bulb, and own ‘best towels’ as well as everyday ones. When it comes to making financial decisions – paying into a pension, having written a Will, budgeting every month and having life insurance all appeared in the top 10 as key signs of adulthood.

Other financial indicators include having a savings account, knowing what terms like ‘ISA’ and ‘tracker’ mean and having a joint bank account. And with age comes common sense and practicality.  The research highlights that being a grown up means wearing a coat on a night out, donning comfortable shoes instead of crippling back breakers, and going to bed before 11pm where possible.

When it comes to managing the house, Brits believe that doing their own washing-up and owning a vacuum cleaner are all indicative of their maturity. Taking trips to the local tip, finding a messy house annoying, actually ironing, and filing away the post for safe-keeping are other clues that someone is ‘grown-up’.

Other factors to appear in the top 50 list include enjoying walking round garden centres, buying a Sunday paper, holding dinner parties, listening to Radio 2 and being sensible enough to remove make up before bedtime. Nearly six in 10 Brits believe you need to have your finances in order to be classed as a real grown up, and the same percentage think it is impossible to feel like a true adult while still relying on hand-outs from mum and dad.

However, 44 per cent think the current economic climate has made it impossible for youngsters to grow up as quickly as they’d like.

The Skipton Building Society spokeswoman continues: ”These findings are a stark reflection of contemporary Britain, and the impact the aftermath of the global financial crisis is having on our most basic expectations.

”The inability to complete rites of passage as basic as standing on their own feet financially, and owning their own home, is effectively infantilising people and leaving us with a generation of who remain teenagers into their late 20s.

”However, there are some encouraging signals in our research, including the increased emphasis on financial awareness and capability, as people recognise that things like completing a Will and saving are vital stepping stones to a more prosperous and independent future.

”Although many people currently feel challenged in achieving these goals, the fact that such aspirations are front of mind should mean that – as the recovery hopefully gathers momentum – today’s ‘teenagers’ now will eventually mature into more financially savvy adults than their predecessors, which can only make them better off in the long term.”

TOP 50 INDICATORS OF BEING ‘GROWN UP’

1.            Having a mortgage

2.            Mum and dad no longer make your financial decisions

3.            Paying into a pension

4.            Conducting a weekly food shop

5.            Written a Will

6.            Having children

7.            Budgeting every month

8.            Being able to cook an evening meal from scratch

9.            Getting married

10.          Having life insurance

11.          Recycling

12.          Having a savings account

13.          Knowing what terms like ‘ISA’ and ‘tracker’ mean

14.          Watching the news

15.          Owning a lawn mower

16.          Doing your own washing

17.          Taking trips to the local tip

18.          Planting flowers

19.          Being able to bleed a radiator

20.          Having a joint bank account

21.          Having a view on politics

22.          Keeping track of interest rates

23.          Finding a messy house annoying

24.          Being able to change a light bulb

25.          Owning a vacuum cleaner

26.          Holding dinner parties

27.          Listening to Radio 2

28.          Enjoying gardening

29.          Spending weekend just ‘pottering’

30.          Mum starts asking you for advice

31.          Carrying spare shopping bags just in case

32.          Like going round garden centres

33.          Wearing coats on a night out

34.          Going to bed before 11pm

35.          Making sure mum and dad are phoned at least once a week

36.          Classing work as a career rather than a job

37.          Repairing torn clothing rather than throwing it away

38.          You iron

39.          You wash up immediately after eating

40.          Enjoy cooking

41.          Buying a Sunday paper

42.          Always going out with a sensible pair of shoes

43.          You like receiving gift vouchers

44.          Work keeps you awake at night

45.          Filing post

46.          Having a ‘best’ crockery set

47.          Being able to change a car tyre

48.          Being sensible enough to remove make up off before bedtime

49.          Being able to follow a receipt

50.          Owning ‘best towels’ as well as ‘everyday towels’



Many of the indicators are things which people need to have mastered - such as looking after the house and garden.

Tracy Fletcher, Head of Corporate Communications for Skipton Building Society



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