Doing your own washing, going to the tip and paying bills are among signs you’re an adult, says study

From budgeting to being a proud pet owner, there are many signals to show you're maturing 

Jack Peat
Tuesday 06 February 2018 18:40 GMT
Findings show the average person has fully developed mentally once they turn 25
Findings show the average person has fully developed mentally once they turn 25 (Shutterstock)

Going to the tip, doing all your own washing and paying utility bills are all among the signs you’re an adult, according to new research.

A study of 2,000 Britons revealed the top 50 signs of finally reaching adulthood, with the list including things such as liking living in a clean house, not purchasing the cheapest wine at the shop and getting excited at the thought of buying a dishwasher.

Preferring a night in to a night out, taking out contents insurance and always clearing things away at the end of an evening (rather than stacking dishes in the sink) also featured highly in the list.

The One Poll research from Endsleigh Insurance Services also discovered that Brits now turn into an adult at the grand old age of 25 – some seven years later than legal adulthood.

Julia Alpan, head of marketing at Endsleigh, said: “Adult life can be a challenge for many Brits, from organising finances to managing household chores, so it’s no surprise to see how many people feel they don’t reach official ‘adulthood’ until the age of 25.

“Whether it’s paying your own utility bills, spending less money on nights out, or taking out your first ever contents insurance policy – these are just some of the key indicators that you are well on your way to becoming an ‘official’ grown-up, whether you feel like one or not!”

Other signs of being an adult include doing a weekly food shop, being able to cook food from scratch and owning a vacuum cleaner.

Moving out of the family home is a sure sign someone is on their way to being an adult, as is making your own financial decisions.

Endsleigh also found that, for students and house sharers, going out less to save money and selecting housemates based on reliability to pay rent, cleanliness and work ethic featured prominently, as did sacrificing a drink in the pub in order to take out contents cover.

Watching the news, going to bed before 11pm and owning a pet also appear on the top 50 list.

While those people who greet others with a handshake, take a keen interest in the garden and spend weekends pottering can rest in the knowledge they are an adult.

However, researchers found modern Britons are reaching adulthood much later than previous generations – with 64 per cent believing this is because it is harder to get on the housing ladder or find a job.

Six in 10 adults believed you need to be at a point in life where your finances are in order to start feeling like a grown-up – which includes arranging your own insurance, keeping track of interest rates, having a credit card and a savings account.

But the current economic climate makes it impossible for youngsters to grow up as quickly as they’d like, according to 56 per cent polled.

A quarter of respondents aged 18 and over still haven’t ever paid either a gas or electricity bill, and 17 per cent have never arranged their own buildings or contents insurance.

Paying a mortgage is still on the wish list for 22 per cent of respondents, while 12 per cent still haven’t paid for their own rent.

And a further 12 per cent have not yet had to sort out their own TV license, while 13 per cent haven’t organised their own council tax.

Meanwhile, 13 per cent still get mum and dad to arrange their doctor or dentist appointments.

Julia Alpan, head of marketing at Endsleigh, added: “It’s surprising to see just how many young adults confessed to not undertaking day-to-day tasks such as paying utility bills and arranging their own insurance.

“For young people and students leaving home for the first time, this can be a daunting experience, which is why many millennials are choosing to avoid the realities of ‘adult’ life for longer than ever before – and relying on parental support well into their 20s.”

To help make the first steps into official adulthood, the insurance provider is giving one lucky student the chance to win a year’s worth of rent, to the value of £10,000. To be in with a chance of winning, take Endsleigh’s housemate quiz before 18 May 2018.

With over 50 years’ experience Endsleigh uses its expertise to provide home, motor, travel and gadget insurance, throughout student life, through to homeownership and beyond.

Top 50 signs you’re an adult

  1. Paying utility bills
  2. Doing your own washing / ironing
  3. Budgeting
  4. Moving out from the family home
  5. Taking out contents insurance
  6. Having a mortgage/buying a house
  7. Your mum and dad don’t make your financial decisions for you any more
  8. You pay into a pension
  9. Keeping a clean house
  10. Doing a weekly food shop
  11. Having children
  12. You book your own appointments
  13. You have written a will
  14. Preferring a night in to a night out
  15. Being able to cook from scratch
  16. Watching the news
  17. You have a credit card
  18. Going to the tip
  19. You have a savings account
  20. Always clearing things away at the end of the evening rather than stacking dishes in the sink
  21. Knowing what terms like ‘ISA’ and ‘tracker’ mean
  22. Owning a vacuum cleaner
  23. You take a keen interest in the garden
  24. You recycle
  25. You can bleed a radiator
  26. Having a joint bank account
  27. You have a view on politics
  28. You can change a light bulb
  29. Keeping track of interest rates
  30. Owning a lawn mower
  31. No longer going home for a Sunday roast
  32. Hosting dinner parties
  33. You greet people with a handshake
  34. Owning your own car on finance
  35. Getting excited at the thought of buying a dishwasher
  36. You decorate
  37. You spend weekends ‘just pottering’
  38. Going to bed before 11pm
  39. Your mum starts asking you for advice
  40. Not always purchasing the cheapest wine in the shop
  41. You have at least tried to discuss the economy
  42. You wear a coat and sensible shoes on nights out
  43. Having a to do list
  44. You can change a tyre
  45. You can follow a recipe
  46. You enjoy art galleries and museums
  47. Having a calendar
  48. You are a proud pet owner
  49. You have a ‘best’ crockery set
  50. You buy a Sunday paper


Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in