Despite their best intentions, 17 million adults (35%) admit to neglecting their finances.
The second annual Scottish Widows Priorities of Life Index shows that of the 17 million adults who cannot focus on their finances as much as they’d like, 21% said this was because they had too much debt to feel financially secure, 32% are not paid enough, and a quarter (25%) simply try not to think about money in their day to day lives.
Commenting, Iain McGowan, savings expert for Scottish Widows, said: “Our financial security and savings are suffering as we struggle to prioritise what really matters when it comes to financial stability. We all know how important it is to save and make time to look after money worries, but a 35% of all of us admit our financial security or savings are not being prioritised nearly enough.”
Around 19 million people (38%) say they are focusing less on their savings than they would like, of which 11 million (60%) say this is because they can’t afford to save more than they currently are, and 6 million (33%) only focus on their short term finances at the moment. And 11% of all Brits say the one thing they wish they had more time for was saving for the future.
But when it comes to prioritising essential life admin, one third (33%) of people have less than two hours to devote to their most important priorities outside their everyday routine of working, eating and sleeping, with those between 35 – 54 years old having the least amount of time to do this. Ideally, people would have an extra 3.5 hours each day to spend with their family, on their health and doing their hobbies, but their current lifestyle doesn’t allow for this.
If people were given an extra day a year for ‘life admin’, 17% said they would use it to make sure their finances were in order, 14% said they would spend the time making a realistic budget, and one fifth (21%) said they would make sure they were paying the lowest household bills possible.
Iain McGowan continued: “Even though the recession may be officially over, the importance of having a financial cushion to fall back on is at the front of a lot of peoples’ minds, but time and money constraints prevent them from being able to do the things they need to in order to feel as secure as they would like.
“It’s extremely worrying that so many people bury their heads in the sand. By carefully planning their finances for the future, they could avoid a lot of this worry in the long-term.”