Millennials are ‘burying their head in the sand’ when it comes to their finances

Study reveals

A third (33 per cent) of 18-24-year-olds want to treat themselves regularly, yet 20 per cent of them do not want to look at the impact this has on their bank balance, according to new research by BankingRefunds.co.uk.

A poll by the packaged bank account claims specialist looked into the spending and saving habits of 1,000 UK residents, to health check the nation’s finances.

It found that although asset-poor, over half of 18-24-year-olds struggle to save money, as 55 per cent admitted to dipping into their savings on a regular basis, making them unable to purchase big ticket items such as a car, or to save for a house deposit.

Worryingly, just one in five people (18 per cent) would only improve their finance habits if they were putting their credit rating at risk, two-fifths (41 per cent) would need to be losing £100 or more before changing their behaviour, and 36 per cent worry that they’ve lost out on up to £500 over the past two years.

Brits mostly blame their lack of financial prowess on busy lifestyles; with a quarter (25 per cent) saying, they are “too busy with other things”. Other reasons include trusting that shops will charge them the right amount (22 per cent), and so not checking shop receipts, and wanting to treat themselves (21 per cent).

The UK’s top five financial bad habits are:

1)      Taking money out of savings (40 per cent)

2)      Failing to check that a receipt is correct (30 per cent)

3)      Not checking bank balance for over a week (27 per cent)

4)     Leaving a letter from the bank unopened for over a week (20 per cent)

5)     Splashing out on pay day (19 per cent)

Worryingly, the research found that those in the 18-24 age bracket, perceived as “adulting”, would choose to be in debt or financial struggle over engaging in activities that carry high financial risks.

One-in-four (28 per cent) admitted to ignoring letters from their bank, and over half (56 per cent) are willing to take money out of their savings due to the need to treat themselves, rather than saving for a house deposit.

In fact, 27 per cent of millennials are only willing to improve their finances when saving towards another opportunity to spoil themselves.

Carl Millar, Managing Director, at BankingRefunds.co.uk commented on the research findings: “We conducted the research to help us understand our relationship with our finances, and how this changes with age.

“The way that millennials approach their finances stood out, with a worrying tendency to dip into their savings to treat themselves rather than working towards goals like buying a car or saving for a house. With social media channels often blamed for fuelling a ‘fear of missing out’, it seems there is a trend among 18-24 year olds to keep up with their peers, when they could be focusing on managing a healthy flow of finance.”

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