Are you a spender or a saver? We Delve Into Your Financial Habits

We’ve all been there…vowing to put some money aside when pay day rolls around, only to splurge on an expensive treat (or three) as soon as our monthly salary lands in our account. While some of us are occasional spenders (and occasional savers!), others need a little more help when it comes to stashing away a good chunk of our pay cheque. So, whether you’re a spender or a saver, we thought we’d let you know that you’re not alone. Indeed, we’ve asked around the Unity Mutual office – and extended that all-important question to some of our friends and family – to find out who likes to spend and who prefers to save. Read on…

The Benefits of Spending

Spending your hard-earned money – as long as you do so in a considered fashion – can actually be a good thing. Helping you realise and understand your priorities and learn how to look after your cash, spending can also be a good de-stressor.

When times are tough, spending a small portion of your wages might put a smile on your face – providing you don’t spend more than you can afford. Plus, a little treat or two can be a great reward when, say, you’ve passed your driving test or secured a job promotion.

The Benefits of Saving

Saving money, meanwhile, offers many more benefits for people of all ages – and you may be in a position to save some of your salary while allowing yourself a small treat or two.

It’s never too early to begin saving, either.

We’re taught from a young age that saving is a great habit to get into – and as we get older, good savings habits gleaned during our childhood and teenage years can mean we’re in a better financial position when it comes to buying our first property or splashing out on a car.

Saving money doesn’t always mean ‘going without’; it may simply mean ‘cutting back’ – and just for the time-being.

Are you a spender or a saver?

So, why do some people choose to save, while others choose to spend? To better understand the psychology behind spending or saving, we asked a cross-section of people – in their 20s, 30s, 40s (and those who are retired) – about their financial habits…

Spenders Tell All…

I’m a bit of a ‘payday millionaire’. It makes me feel like I don’t have enough to save because I blow through my money so quickly. But recently I’ve realised how important a mortgage is and I wish I’d started saving sooner.” Alex, 20s

“I’m definitely a spender. Whenever there’s money in the bank I rarely think about the bigger picture, I always prioritise bills but anything after that is fair game for something I know I want. I know deep down I could put it on paying some bills in advance like my credit card, but I’d always sooner wait for the next pay day (I get paid weekly) to roll around and then manage it then.” Damaris, 20s

“I have been a chronic spender most of my life. I got so used to having little money to spare that once I had it I just spent it and lived way beyond my means. But as I’ve got older I’ve realised I need to prioritise the bigger things I want, like a car and a house. It’s taken a lot of strict budgeting for me to start to save properly, but I’ve realised I can still have money to spend on life right now, too.”  Leonie, 20s

“I’ve never been much of a saver to be honest. I make enough money to be comfortable and spend what I like when I like. I’m still young and have no desire to get a mortgage or anything anytime soon, so I spend as I like. I could definitely have enough money to save, but until I settle down, I’ll probably keep spending on nights out and memories.” Jodie, 30s

“On pay day I will buy anything I want (within reason) and then be left with the consequences for the rest of the month. So, if we only have £100 left, I have to meal plan/budget and make it work.” Stacey, 30s

“I’m definitely a spender! I literally have no savings. During lockdown I could have saved a fortune, but we chose to treat ourselves to keep our spirits up. As long as we can afford to pay the mortgage and bills every month and fund our three children and dogs, I’m happy.” Samantha, 30s

Savers Unite!

“I was a mega saver during lockdown. I managed to save enough to buy a brand new car and pay all the tax and insurance right there and then. I did really miss the nights out and stuff, but I was so grateful to the time where I had less to spend my money on so I could do that. Nothing compared to the feeling of getting my dream car with my own money and not having to finance it. It’s made me realise that I am actually capable of saving.” Niamh, 20s

“I haven’t always been a saver but, more recently, I’ve started to put some serious money aside. The pandemic made me realise that ‘things’ were less important than seeing people and making memories with those I love. Post-lockdown, ‘memories’ were as simple as sitting in someone’s garden with a brew and slice of cake! I enjoy treating myself every now and then, too, but as I near my 40s – and with a baby on the way – I’m trying to be more careful about my money and think about the future.” Lauren, 30s

“I’ve always been a saver – my parents taught me how important it is to put money to one side, just in case. I bought my first house in my 20s and have a fair amount saved up in case of emergencies. I save a set amount each month into my savings account. As I’m about to have my first child I have also started to save more in a separate pot for the future.” Gary, 30s

I’m a saver. We’ve got a mortgage and two cars, but I always find myself saving anyway. I think it’s come from a time where we didn’t have much and emergencies like the fridge breaking would crop up and we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves. Before I spend I’m always in the mindset of ‘what if’ this and ‘what if’ that.” Lesley, 40s

Spending & Saving: The Best of Both Worlds?

“I’m a bit of both [a spender and a saver] if that’s allowed.  I do like to know I have savings there just in case I need them for anything and have an eye on paying off my mortgage and retirement.  But I also watched my parents save for a rainy day that never came, so believe in living for now, and I’m not against spending to visit new places and experiences new things (or revisiting old ones I enjoy). Ok, there’s also the odd pair of boots and a new bag too!” Abi, 40s

We saved and saved before our retirement. We wanted to make sure we could enjoy it to the fullest. We both had the same cars for years and didn’t overspend on too much, other than the kids and grandchildren for Christmas and birthdays. But since we’ve retired, I think we got a bit too comfortable with being spenders, we got our house completely renovated, went on cruises and bought brand new cars and a touring caravan. But it’s been worth it. We’re in our 70s now and we can look back on such a fun life. There’s still some good savings put aside for the kids when we pass away but we’re definitely back to being a bit more money conscious!” Barbara, 70s

When we hadn’t got much I was a saver of anything left after bills because we only bought what we could pay for outright, except for our car. I used to siphon a secret bit off as a safety net too. When we were better off we saved via ISAs and National Savings and used it for things like holidays. We don’t have an income to save now but have some savings which is dwindling down, but I think ‘you can’t take it with you’. I can spend more easily on stuff but find it difficult to splurge. We had to be frugal for years so it’s not in my nature to be extravagant. I’ll always look for the cheapest option.” Colin, 70s

Saving: Why start?

If you’ve not already a saver, it’s never too late to start. With the past two years or so helping steer people’s mindset towards the importance of saving for a rainy day, more of us than ever will be thinking about setting up additional accounts to build up a handy little nest egg.

Lifetime ISAs are a great choice for those who want to save for their first property or for retirement, with a 25% Government bonus added to any amount you deposit. For example, if you save up to £4,000 a year (the maximum amount you can deposit), the Government will give you £1,000 on top of that – completely free.

Our account also offers a market-leading interest rate of 1.5%* to sweeten the deal further still.

Just make sure you understand all of the rules surrounding the LISA’S such as government withdrawal charges if you access your money for anything other than your first home or retirement. Like any financial commitment, it’s important you enter it with your eyes open.  We’d be more than happy to chat through our T&C’s and answer any questions if you want to call the team.

You can also instil good savings habits in your kids, by taking a look at the various accounts available for children. Now more than ever, our children will need a helping hand when they reach adulthood – and it’s only natural to want to save some money for them, for everything from driving lessons to a deposit on a first home.

While spending a little money on ourselves can often perk us up, you can’t beat the feeling associated with seeing the pennies become pounds on your digital bank statement – or watching your money mount up the ‘old-fashioned way’, in an empty whiskey jar, for example.

By saving money now, you’re not only preparing for your future, but covering yourself in the short-term, should something unexpected happen.  The last two years have shown us it can be good to give yourself some much-needed breathing space.

Are you a spender or a saver? Let us know – and do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team if you have a question about any of our savings products here at Unity Mutual. We can help by providing some answers and talking you through specific product terms and conditions.  Designed with you and your long-term financial goals in mind, our accounts are there when you need them.

*We are currently offering the market-leading interest rate available to the general public.  Independent research conducted every six months. Data correct as at 1st October 2021



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