Uncertain incomes and fear of missing out ’cause money worries for young adults’

Nearly half of 18 to 24-year-olds say they fear more for the state of their finances in 2019 than they did last year, a survey has found.

The spending pressures of socialising are a major worry for this age group, the research from NatWest found – with many saying they had gone on dates, or on holidays or attended weddings or music festivals, despite being worried about whether they could afford it.

Some 47% of 18 to 24-year olds surveyed are more worried about their finances in 2019 compared with 2018.

The rising costs of essentials such as food and travel, not being able to save and not having a steady level of income were common reasons why people in this age group said they were worried about money.

The research found that, among 18 to 24-year-olds, 23% had gone on dates, 19% had been on group holidays and 11% had attended weddings despite being worried about whether they could afford the cost of doing so.

Some 23% had gone to festivals and gigs and 13% had attended sporting events while also fretting over the cost.

Just over a quarter (26%) of young people surveyed felt pressurised into attending events due to the fear of missing out.

The research also found that nearly one in 10 (9%) 25 to 34-year olds have previously attended social events they could not afford just so they could post about it on social media.

Kirsty Britz, director of sustainable banking at NatWest, said: “2019 is going to be another year of economic turbulence, with uncertain income for many and rising prices.

“This, combined with the pressure to afford a social life, is clearly weighing on the minds of young people.

“That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to get over the awkwardness and be more open about their finances – whether that’s not being able to afford a big night out or talking about the difficulties of being in debt.”

More than 2,000 people were surveyed.