Managing finances key aim for most Britons
Wednesday 4th January 2012
Better financial management and getting into the savings habit rank among the top five New Year's resolutions Britons are making this year, according to a survey for Skipton Building Society.
Although more traditional pledges like losing weight (31%) and exercising more (31%) still feature highly, financial resolutions are well up there, with 40% of people planning to make at least one such commitment for the coming year.
In fact, saving money is a bigger priority for them (27%) than spending time with their family (25%), having fun (23%) or going on holidays (21%).
Perhaps surprisingly, the main group of would-be savers are 18 to-34-year-olds (40% compared to 35% of people aged 35 to 54 and 28% aged 55-plus).
The average amount people say they expect to save in 2012 is £2000. And 67% of them plan to achieve this by making sacrifices or changing their behaviour, with 30% aiming to spend less on things like clothes and jewellery; 24% cutting down on eating out and 16% planning to start taking a packed lunch to work.
The survey also suggested that - of those planning to improve their finances in 2012 - almost a third (31%) hope to do so by saving money, 17% by generally managing their finances better, 13% by doing their best to clear unsecured debts and 4% by either paying off or paying down their mortgage.
Tracy Fletcher, Head of Corporate Communications for Skipton Building Society, said: "It's really encouraging to see that people are planning to get a firm grip on their finances in 2012.
"The challenging economic climate continues to bite, and to make it harder for people to both make ends meet and save. However, there's no doubt that developing the disciplines of careful budgeting, cutting down on impulse spending and saving - rather than borrowing - for the things we want, makes every situation easier to cope with."
When it comes to sticking to those resolutions, some find it easier than others, with 66% of people confident that they can deliver on their good intentions and 14% very confident that they will do so: 18 to 34-year-olds are the most confident.
Many have well-developed strategies to give them the best chance, with 26% saying that having a specific goal in mind is likely to give them the best chance of success, along with changing their behaviour to avoid temptation (15%), making the same resolution as a friend or family member for mutual support (12%) and incentivising themselves for success, with rewards such as a weekend away for achieving a specific goal (10%).
The savings goal which ranked the highest (30% of people) was a holiday, followed by a rainy day (24%), major home improvements (10%), a deposit for a house or flat (10%) and their children's or grandchildren's futures (9%).
In terms of how long they predict keeping their resolutions, 60% of people said they expected to stick to their plans for a year or less with more than a fifth (22%) expecting to bail out by the end of January. On average, they expect to stick to their plans for four months, and the average date by which most people are likely to give up on their resolutions will be 6 May.
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Editorial Contact Details - Conor Shilling