Time of your lifestyle

We all know what it’s like. That giant pile of life admin you’ve been meaning to sort out for weeks but just haven’t got round to starts to niggle in the back of your mind. But you can put it off a bit longer – it’s not that urgent, right?

If this sounds like you, you’re in good company. Our latest research, analysing people’s attitudes to personal, social and health-related activities, found that more than 12 million** adults in the UK feel like they just don’t have enough time to effectively manage their personal finances. Of course, the main reason for putting this off was being “too busy with other things”, with over half of respondents (53%) saying that’s why they don’t bother, followed by over a quarter (27%) saying that they found managing their personal finances to be “bewildering”.

While we all share similar problems, it seems there’s a generational divide, with millennials struggling perhaps more than the rest of us. So what’s really going on? 

Is youth wasted on the young?

It seems the youngsters out there feel themselves to be more time poor and unreliable than most. The findings from our study showed that 25-34 year olds were far more likely to neglect their personal relationships than the rest of us. Nearly a third (30%) feel they don’t have the time for a dedicated “date night”, compared to a fifth (19%) of the general population. Shockingly, 30% of 25-34 year olds say they are too busy to have sex with their partner, compared to one in seven (16%) amongst the rest of the UK adult population – it seems the youth of today have very different priorities! 

date night
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Rain check

Friendships also seem to be taking a hit in youngsters’ hectic lifestyles. 37% feel they don’t have time to have a drink with friends and 30% don’t have time to go out to dinner, while nearly three quarters (70%) of young people admit that they have cancelled social plans last minute, compared to 49% of the general population. Work seems to be the primary culprit for taking them away from their social life – how times have changed.

#Millenialproblems

It’s not just relationships that are going out the window; we found that many youngsters don’t feel like they have enough time to do normal domestic tasks. For example, over a third of the population (34%) admit that they don’t have time to clean their home and a fifth (22%) don’t have time to cook, but amongst 25-34 year olds this figure rises to 46% and 32%.  

While we don’t like to think about the state of these youngsters’ homes, it’s not just the housework that’s slipping. Almost a fifth (18%) of young people don’t feel they are able to spend enough time on important tasks, such as sorting out their household bills. A quarter of under 25 year olds said that the main reason for this is that they are “not interested” and that “it’s boring”. But what impact is neglecting this side of their life having? 

cleaning
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Simon McCulloch

Commercial Director

comparethemarket.com

“In an increasingly busy and pressurised world, people’s lives are frantic and social gatherings and family events are often skipped. Being busy can also take its toll on your finances. Ignoring household bills or insurance renewal letters could lead to you paying over the odds on energy or insurance, so it’s worth taking a small amount of time a couple of times a month to review your bills and what you could potentially save through making changes of tariffs or provider.”

The squeezed middle

Even though youngsters seem to be struggling the most, we found that 35-54 year olds feel that they have the least amount of time. While the figures aren’t as high as for those millennials, a large significant proportion of this generation is struggling to dedicate the time they’d like to cleaning, reading a book and even just a bit of ‘me time’.

Out of pocket

Nearly a third (30%) of 35-54 years olds also said that they don’t have enough time to sort out their finances. We found that this “time poor generation” are the most inert of all age groups when it comes to switching energy provider and planning or managing their life cover, which could mean they’re missing out on significant savings. With potential inflationary pressures next year, which could make everything feel a little more expensive, it could make even more of a difference if you could pinch some pennies here and there, especially before Christmas.

time

Worryingly 53% of the adults we polled don’t have life insurance, meaning families could be exposed to financial hardship should the worst ever happen. Furthermore, amongst the 35 to 54 year olds who did have life insurance, one in five (21%) have never spent time revising the terms of their cover; adjusting the amount they need in case of a change in their mortgage or even the birth of a second child. 

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Simon McCulloch

Commercial Director

comparethemarket.com

“When it comes to life insurance, for many people life gets in the way of sorting it out. But life insurance cover is so important for 35-54 year olds that it’s really worrying so many people seem to not have enough time to manage or plan their cover. For those who find it bewildering, most comparison sites and life companies have numbers you can call. For those who are too busy doing other things, you can buy cover in as little as 10 minutes – so take time and help protect your family’s future.”

Switching off to savings

We also found that nearly a quarter (23%) of 35-54 year olds have never switched energy provider. This is in spite of the well-publicised savings and the recent Government campaign calling on people to save on their energy costs with the Energy Switch Guarantee. The figures are better for motor insurance, where over a third (34%) have switched provider in the last year and only 8% have never switched (so there’s still room for some people to save!)

 

switching
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Simon McCulloch

Commercial Director

comparethemarket.com

“Inertia in energy switching could lock people out of savings hundreds of pounds on their annual bills. At a time when wholesale energy prices are rising, which could cause gas and electricity bills to go up quickly in the coming months, it’s vital that people find those few minutes to shop around and switch to the best available tariff.”

Save yourself a penny or two

So tackle that pile, dedicate a few minutes to banishing those niggles and see if you could save yourself a penny or two at the same time. Not only could you get some peace of mind, but you can start to make the most of that precious time of yours too. 

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