2009 was clearly a year of doom and gloom for the worlds economic situation, but the message of the credit crunch seems to be hitting home to the younger generations as more look at repaying their debts, according to research published by Friends Provident.

31% of 21-29 year olds are now prioritising paying off debt and becoming debt free, compared to a smaller number of those who choose to save for a house or fund a career break.

This new breed of financially responsible Brits are not just thinking about their short term need for debt advice and about being debt free in the short term, but many more are also looking towards their financial futures. Almost half (44%) of those polled are starting to save for their retirement through a company pension. And over a third claim that they want to start contributing to a pension by the time they turn 30.

James Ward, director of UK corporate at Friends Provident, said: “In the current economic environment it is very uplifting to see that the younger generations are taking financial matters into their own hands. It is encouraging to see a large percentage of twenty-something’s taking responsibility for their finances and planning for their future at such a young age and rightly so.”