Getting more savvy about saving and spending

Sorting out our finances is high on our list of priorities in 2015

The British population is determined to get more savvy about their saving and spending habits in 2015, with three quarters (76%) of adults admitting they are prepared to moderate their lifestyle, according to a new survey by Standard Life.

Sorting out finances
Showing that sorting out our finances is high on our list of priorities in 2015, nearly half of adults (46%) made a money-related New Year’s resolution. Topping the table is saving more: nearly a quarter (22%) of adults plan to save more this year, and one in five (19%) hope to cut day-to-day costs.

Less than a third of people (28%) are currently happy with the amount of money that they save, with a quarter of adults (26%) not currently saving at all despite thinking they should, and 37% don’t save as much as they think they should.

Flexible pension changes
Pensions are a crucial element of saving for the future, and changes coming in April mean the way people can access this money is becoming more flexible. While the majority of UK adults (75%) are aware of the upcoming reforms, only 22% say they understand the changes and what it means for them*.

Despite the increased focus on saving, 65% of adults are still planning a ‘big ticket’ spend this year. Over half of these people (53%) are expecting to cover the cost from their savings, while 27% plan to cut back on day-to-day spending to afford these bigger buys.

Some of the most popular big ticket items people will be spending on this year are expected to be:

Holiday – 36%
Home improvements – 19%
New car/motorbike – 8%
Property – 5%
Wedding – 3%

Four ways to be financially fit in 2015:

1. Review your finances for the year ahead, looking to see if you can pay off any debt, reduce the cost of any regular outgoings, perhaps by switching providers and considering how much you’re able to save. It’s then a case of finding out more about your savings options and which products are tax-efficient, so you can help your money grow tax-efficiently

2. You can save up to £15,000 in a tax-efficient New Individual Savings Account (NISA) this current tax year, so make the most of that ahead of the tax year end on 5 April.

3. Be informed – it’s not just about the numbers, its understanding things too. Therefore, speak to us about how to make of the most of the new pensions freedom changes.

4. If, like many people, you’re planning to spend on holidays or home improvements this year, then aim to save towards the cost, rather than running up a debt or putting it on a credit card and worrying about how you will pay it off later.

Source data:
All figures (with the exception of those marked with *) are from research conducted by Vision Critial on behalf of Standard Life in January 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). Research marked with * was also carried out online by Vision Critical on the same basis in November 2014.