The effect your family has on your financial confidence

Feb 28, 2015, 10:03 AM | Updated: 10:03 am
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According to a report from LearnVest, your financial confidence dips in your 30s. The report shows 20- and 40- somethings have the highest levels of confidence in their financial situation.

Forbes said the dip in confidence has to do with a person's career trajectory. Once people reach 30 years of age, they change jobs less frequently, allowing for slower salary growth. In their 40s, more well-paying positions become available, which make older Americans feel more confident with the money they’re making.

This may be a result of raising a family, which is increasingly occurring in a person's mid to late thirties (even though the Central Intelligence Agency reports the average age for giving birth rests at 25 years old).

Couples are also getting married later, with most couples waiting until their late 20s to tie the knot, according to the Pew Research Center.

So for those first few years of marriage, people are confident with their money. They have shared incomes and times are easy. But once they have a child, those numbers decrease because their spending, especially on items for a new baby, increases.

“Because of the economic insecurity of life today, there are some tough trade-offs that families are having to make,” Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute told USA Today. “These aren't luxury trade-offs, like not getting the fanciest strollers. These are food and 'who's going to stay with my child' issues for so many families.”

Raising a child costs about $245,000, which I wrote about in August of last year. This is a heavy financial burden that married couples take on. The LearnVest report chart reflects this as confidence dips across all income brackets during those mid- to late-30s.

But why the increase in financial confidence at 40? Because that's the time in a parent's life when many children reach 18 years of age and plan to leave home for college or other life experiences.

At this time, parents again have a shared income and don’t necessarily have to put all their resources towards raising a child. This allows couples to spend more quality time with each other, which increases their happiness, according to The New York Times.

“There are fewer interruptions and less stress when kids are out of the house,” said Dr. Sara Melissa Gorchoff from the University of California Berkeley to The New York Times. “It wasn’t that they spent more time with each other after the children moved out. It’s the quality of time they spent with each other that improved.”

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The effect your family has on your financial confidence