Published On: Sun, Mar 31st, 2024
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One in six Brits admit to not having any defined financial goals | Personal Finance | Finance

One in six Brits (17 percent) admit to not having any defined financial goals at all, new research reveals.

A survey of 2,237 UK adults aged 18 -75 provided by Natwest found that only 80 percent of people earning under £100,000 had set precise financial goals.

In comparison, 4 percent of high earners (those earning £100k in annual income or more) did have these set goals.

According to the survey, the top general financial goal for UK adults is “saving for a rainy day” (35 percent).

The second highest priority for Brits is paying for travel and experiences (30 percent) and in third place was saving for retirement (30 percent).

Those earning below £100k stated ‘saving for retirement’ (29 percent) and ‘saving for home improvements/extensions’ (17 percent) as specific financial goals; a higher proportion in the £100k bracket selected these goals. Saving for retirement was selected by 48 percent of high earners (£100k or more) and home improvements by 29 percent.

One in six people (17 percent) admit to not having any defined financial goals at all. To add, a staggering 80 percent of Brits surveyed disclosed they have not discussed their financial goals with a bank or building society. 

Even amongst the higher earning bracket of £100,000 or more, just 39 percent had engaged in discussions with banking experts.

Laura Newman, Head of NatWest Premier Financial Planning, said: “Now is a great time to do some financial Spring cleaning. Alongside clearing out any direct debits that are no longer needed and cancelling any unused subscriptions we’re advising people to take the time to sit down and set financial goals for the future. But, when doing so, make it specific.  

“Our research suggests that those who do set specific goals are more likely to be high earners. Whether the high earnings or the goal setting comes first can be debated – but it’s clear that getting specific means you’re more likely to succeed.  

“Advice on getting more specific with financial goals is needed. That’s why, at NatWest Premier, we offer a range of financial planning advice and products, including one-to-one sessions where our experts can share financial insight on goal planning to make that rainy day pot more impactful.”

Ms Newman’s top tips on how to ensure you’re on the right track to achieving your financial objectives:

  1. Set your goals and work backwards from there: to successfully plan finances and budget accordingly, I’d advise working out what your ultimate goals are. If you want to have a holiday home in 10 years’ time, write it down and map it out. Once you have your plan on paper, it’s easier and more achievable to work backwards from there and then plot out the steps to reach it. 

  2. Avoid being vague: one of the key takeaways we found in our research was that there is an ambition to save, but the ultimate financial goal is not always specific. By having defined goals, and a clear idea of what, how, when to achieve it, you ultimately more likely will! 

  3. Consistency is key: your specific goals are set, you’ve started planning already, you’ve mapped out how to reach them. Now it’s crucial to ensure you crack any bad spending habits. Be consistent, and get into a regular savings habit. 

  4. Seek advice from your bank: many can be unsure what information is relevant to financial planning. Check to see what your bank offers for free when it comes to financial planning advice. There will likely be ways that you can make your money work harder. Go in with sharing your goals, and a financial advisor can help with how to plan finances accordingly. 

  5. It’s never too early to start planning – start now: whether the thought of retirement feels a long way off, or investing in that home improvement that you’ve been putting off for years – start planning now for long-term goals. With clear, specific goals mapped out, it’s easier to keep on top of your budgeting.  

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