Financial planning is the task we are putting off the most when it comes to our everyday
‘to-do lists’ according to a new report released by the Payments Council.
The Life’s Long List report, has been put together using research from a Populus study of 2,085 UK adults. It reveals that whilst bills focus the mind in the short-term, with 18% of us putting ‘paying off our credit card bill’ in our top three most pressing items, planning for the longer-term continues to be left for another day.
The Payments Council is spearheading the new Current Account Switch Service that is launching in September.
Although saving for a rainy day is important for many people – 35% of people include it on their daily ‘to-do list’ – only 5% of us ranked financial planning tasks, such as reviewing pensions or moving their bank account, at the top of their lists. This is a telling sign of the short-term view that seems to govern much of our financial lives, the organisation says.
The research reveals that it’s not because we don’t know how; half of us think it would be easy to switch a utility provider for a better deal and 24% think it would be easy to review their pension. It is more that we don’t want to do it now; 24% of people claim they would feel overwhelmed if they had to move their bank account for a better deal, 23% if they had to change utility provider and 20% if they had to review their pension.
Social psychologist and life coach Dr Gary Wood who co-authored the report that looks at the nation’s approach to our everyday ‘life admin’ said: “Where finances are concerned we tend to be more reactive, than proactive. For many people, finance is just paying bills, which has a negative association. In short, we focus on getting-by rather than getting ahead. Often we simply can’t see the benefits of taking time out to plan our finances.
“Paying money out gives us a kind of ‘financial fatigue’ and we don’t want to prolong the agony. We need to wise up to the long-term benefits of sorting out our finances rather than searching for short-term rewards.”
Moving bank accounts for a better deal features on 16% of our ‘to-do lists’, a task that will be made easier from September with the launch of a new Current Account Switch Service. This new service aims to increase competition in banking, making it simpler, quicker and hassle-free for customers to switch their current account.
Adrian Kamellard, chief executive at the Payments Council, said: “Our finances can ultimately govern our futures, especially in these tough economic times, and taking time to make them more of a priority can have significant benefits.
“Managing financial products and services can often be viewed as overly confusing and complex and this is something we’ve aimed to address with the new Current Account Switch Service that is launching in September. The new service will make it simpler, easier and hassle-free for people to switch to a new current account deal – ticking one more thing off the list.”