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Do you procrastinate when it comes to finances?

Do you procrastinate when it comes to finances?

Category: Money

Updated: 02/02/2015
First Published: 02/02/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

There are some things in life that no-one really enjoys doing, and it seems that managing financial affairs is one of them. Many people are clear procrastinators when it comes to this kind of task, with research finding that the average Brit spends far more time procrastinating than focusing on the job in hand.

Lack of proactivity

According to a report from RateSetter, the typical adult spends 218 minutes procrastinating per day, which tots up to a staggering 55 days per year. The time spent putting off critical tasks is typically taken up with TV watching – respondents spent an average of an hour a day watching TV rather than concentrating on what they'd planned – as well as browsing the internet (half an hour per day), spending time on social media (25 minutes) and cleaning (25 minutes), showing the lengths some people will go to in order to avoid the inevitable.

For 24% of respondents, the task they're specifically trying to avoid is managing their personal finances. This is despite the fact that 17% believe they'd be in a better financial position if they stopped procrastinating, and 41% think they'd have fewer worries about the future if they actually concentrated on their finances in the here and now. It's a problem for those approaching retirement, too, with 50% of over 55 year-olds surveyed realising that combating procrastination would help them have more money in later life.

Is procrastination affecting your financial wellbeing?

Unfortunately, failing to take control of your finances could well have an impact on your long-term security. Even though a lot of consumers are disappointed with their savings account and the rate they're getting – 30% of those that have an account are dissatisfied with it, and 92% blame low interest rates – few are doing anything about it, and that level of procrastination won't do you any favours.

Keeping your savings locked in accounts that are paying poor rates of interest will do nothing to boost your bank balance. If you're not careful, you could even find that the value of your cash is being eroded – unless you have an inflation-beating account – so why not start looking elsewhere? Many respondents were interested in alternative savings arrangements, such as peer-to-peer lending, but options such as stocks & shares ISAs could be perfect for those with a slightly higher risk appetite.

Or, what about high interest current accounts? These pay up to 5% interest on certain balances, and could be a great way to start building up your pot. Best of all, it needn't be difficult to arrange things – thanks to the current account switch service, all you need to do is fill in a simple form and your bank will take care of everything else, all within seven working days.

So, turn off the TV, step away from the internet and stop delaying the inevitable. Being in control of your personal finances is the key to long-term security, and even something as simple as finding a new savings account could transform your financial wellbeing. It'll be far more beneficial than seeing what's happening on Twitter…

What next?

Stocks and shares ISA

Compare high interest bank accounts

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.