Men reach the age of financial security at 29 while women do not reach financial security until they are 33, according to new research from Zopa.
The research found that overall the average age most British people feel in control of their money is 31, with men getting to this stage four years quicker than women. A number of metrics were used to measure financial security including saving account levels, owning a pension and credit card spending.
According to the research nearly two thirds (66%) of British people believe that regularly paying into a savings account is the top indictor of being good with money, while just over half (55%) believed having a pension plan and 53% said always shopping around for the best deals showed financial maturity. When it comes to debt, 49% identify not being overdrawn and 45% said paying off your credit card bills monthly as signs of having a good grasp of their finances.
The main reason for causing financial instability, according to the research, was low salaries with 37% stating this as a reason, while 36% said rising utility bills and 32% said not being able to put money into savings were also contributing factors.
Clare Gambardella, Zopa’s chief customer officer, said: “We’re pleased to see that most Brits feel good about managing their money at the relatively young age of 31. At Zopa, our mission is to provide easy to manage products and a straightforward online experience so that customers feel positive and in control of their financial situation.”
As the research shows, many British people feel that regularly saving is a key factor to becoming financially secure. For those who struggle to save monthly a regular savings account, which usually requires a minimum amount to be deposited each month for a set period of time, could be a good option. Virgin Money’s Regular Saver Issue 18, for example, pays 3.00% and requires an opening deposit of just £1. Once opened savers can made deposits between £1 and £250, and unusually for a regular savings account there is no penalty for missing a payment.
Another good option for savers who have the discipline to not withdraw funds regularly but who still want quick access to their money is an easy access account as these accounts usually allow unlimited further additions and withdrawals. Al Rayan Bank is currently sitting at the top of the easy access savings accounts chart with its Everyday Saver offering a highly competitive expected profit rate of 1.61% AER on an opening deposit of £500.
Along with having a good savings fund to fall back on, being debt-free or having manageable debt is also considered a sign of financial security. Those with credit card debts can consider moving their debts onto a 0% transfer credit card that will offer an interest free period in which to pay off the debt. MBNA Limited currently sits at the top of the 0% transfer chart with its Long 0% Balance Transfer Mastercard that offers 0% interest for 29 months from the date of card issue, after which time it charges 20.9% APR on outstanding debts. It should be noted that this credit card is only available to those with a minimum income of £1,400 and a transfer fee of 2.75% applies first 60 days from account opening and 5.00% after that period.
For those with a large amount of debt taking out a loan to consolidate debt could be an option, however those in debt are advised to get advice from a debt charity such as Citizens Advice before doing this and to ensure that they do not take out further debt until the loan is repaid in full. There are many personal loans available that will enable consumers to consolidate debt including Zopa’s Personal Loan that has a representative APR of 2.8% fixed on a loan of £12,500.00.
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.