"I Think I Can Get Ahead!" Perceived Economic Mobility, Income, and Financial Behaviors of Young Adults

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



general population, financial status and behavior, age


This research examined how perceived economic mobility (PEM) relates to domain-specific behaviors of financial management, specifically cash management, credit management, and savings and investment, for a sample of 1,245 young adults age 18–34. Using data collected by an online survey administration organization, research results indicated a significant positive relationship between PEM and the financial behaviors of cash management and savings and investment. Control variables of income level, family of origin’s perceived (FOP) income level, age, gender, education level, and employment also showed varying levels of significance across the three financial behaviors. Findings, to be considered in financial policy-making, indicated significant interactions between PEM and FOP income levels for cash management and between PEM and current income for credit management.