Teenagers unaware of the price of life

23 August 2012

It's GCSE results day, and as the nations 16 year-olds find out how they did, new research has revealed their financial aspirations.

Of those surveyed by JP Morgan Asset Management, a career in healthcare (22%), education (11%) or fashion (10%) appeals to the majority of teenage girls whereas boys are focused on higher-paying careers, with the majority dreaming of a career in IT (16%) followed by engineering (12%).

But there are also a lot of budding entrepreneurs collecting their exam results – 27% of teenagers hope to own their own company and be their own boss.

The parents who were also surveyed seemed not to have such high expectations for their children; only 12% expected their children to reach the top levels in their career.

First home at 25

High hopes bordered on delusions when it came to teenagers' hopes for their financial futures.

More than a quarter (27%) expected their first salary to be around £22,600 a year, despite that being the average salary in the UK - and a pay level most people reach once they have built up some work experience.


The same number of teenagers also expected to be able to buy their first home at the age of 25 despite the fact the average age of a first-time buyer is 30.

The average home costs £169,000 so to achieve their dream they would need £33,800 in savings for a 20% deposit.

Many teenagers also vastly underestimate the cost of university.

Despite 78% of those surveyed saying they hope to go to university, 24% believe it will cost between £10,000 and £15,000 a year. In fact, university costs an average of £17,352 a year including tuition and living costs.

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