What has the youth learned about money from watching America's latest, greatest recession?

According to a new study from U.S. News and World Report, kids have taken to heart the lessons hard won by their seniors. Young adults (ages 18-34) are more likely to list saving money, developing a budget, and paying down debts as priorities than are older generations. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger generations are also more friendly to online financial tools like credit report alerts and auto-pay options for bills and credit cards.

For the report, U.S. News compared statistics and surveyed financial blogs targeted to young people and found that young adults are more optimistic about the economy than their older peers. Perhaps more importantly, the study found that young people assume more personal responsibility for their finances than do seniors:

"Over my 27 years, I've watched the tech bubble burst, the stock market crash, and the housing market nearly collapse … We've seen what can happen and don't want to be caught off-guard," says Adam Williams, who blogs about finances at rabbitfunds.com. As a result of that experience, Williams said his priorities are avoiding debt as much as possible, creating a well-diversified investment portfolio, and working hard. David Weliver, founder of the Money Under 30 blog, says the recession taught 20-somethings to create a financial safety net for themselves. "We're starting our adult lives knowing the importance of having savings to fall back on in the event of job loss, and that we cannot simply buy a home and ride its perpetually increasing value to retirement ." As a result, he says, "We're more goal-oriented about our finances—because we have to be."

Great! Now let's prove it.

Compare the report's compiled best tips for managing your money from young people to a separate list of tips for young people, also published by U.S. News. 

Here's what young adults recommend, if you're looking for guidance from these whippersnappers:

1. Decide on your goals after reflecting on the previous year. 2. Share your plans with others. 3. Take small steps. 4. Earn extra money. 5. Budget by the year. 6. Ramp up retirement savings.

And here's the (presumably evolving) set of recommendations old financial fogies suggest for this same age group:

1. Save 1/3 of your income. 2. Don't scrimp on career-related investments. 3. Cultivate your most ambitious dreams. 4. Pay off all but your cheapest student loans early. 5. Don't wait to invest until you have the "extra" money. 6. Give back--on your own terms.

Sounds young adults are trying desperately to brace ourselves for uncertainty, while older generations encourage kids to do the best we can, because you can't really diversify against all possible risk. (See this piece for an illustration of harsh financial consequences probably unintended and unforeseen by lawmakers.)

Which advice will you take?

Kathryn Ciano is the Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.