Year Of Upsets Influences How People Manage Money

Brexit, Donald Trump, Russian aggression and civil strife in the Middle East have all influenced the way people are managing their money.

Some of the extraordinary changes around the world have led to people putting off important financial decisions while saving more.

The data comes from a study by financial giant Standard Life.

The research revealed:

  • Half of British adults agreed concerns over politics and terrorism have impacted on their financial plans
  • 16% have delayed making decisions about savings and investments
  • 27% pledged to save more in the hope a cash buffer would safeguard them from the worst effects of political upheaval
  • 11% confessed they were now worried about their finances and did not know how to react

Most people were laid-back about their money and set general objectives rather than working hard to change their finances.

Savings goals

Besides generally saving more, the other top goals for 2017 were:

  • Saving for a holiday (21%)
  • Spending less (18%)
  • Switching utility providers (17%)
  • Paying off debt (16%)
  • Setting a budget (15%)
  • Paying off credit cards (15%)
  • Saving more for retirement (10%)
  • Writing a will (10%)
  • Spending less on clothes (9%)

The study also found a third of savers had no idea how much was in their pension and 45% of adults had little understanding of the way stock markets work.

Financial decisions

“It seems inevitable that the major events of 2016 would influence people’s approach to financial planning and our research shows that some people put off making important financial decisions, while others were driven to save more, which remains the most popular goal for 2017,” said Jamie Jenkins, a personal finance expert at Standard Life.

“Aiming to save more and build a solid buffer is always a good thing, and the start of the year is a good time to make a plan to see how much you can regularly tuck away.”

Jenkins also explained that how savings are managed is as important as putting the money aside.

“It’s not just how much you save, it’s where you save that’s important too. Look for the best rates on savings accounts and ISAs, and look beyond traditional savings too, to the opportunities offered by investing,” he said.