Your Biggest Financial Worries: Revealed

When it comes to your finances, what do you worry about? Day-to-day living expenses, saving for the future, or something else entirely, such as preparing for maternity and paternity leave?

At Unity Mutual, we recently conducted a survey to find out what’s on people’s minds when it comes to money – and what’s bothering them the most. In this piece, we look at the money-related woes, as revealed in our research. We also offer some food for thought on getting ahead financially, to help you better prepare for everything from costly emergencies to planning a wedding or other big life event. Read on…


The Key Takeaways

As expected during what is a turbulent, economic time here in the UK, finances are a huge concern for most Britons, with the rising cost of living having a negative impact on many a bank balance.

People are, not surprisingly, more stressed about their finances, with the majority of respondents believing that issues surrounding money should be taught to children as part of the national curriculum.

Although those in their 20s are the most stressed about their finances, they also feel the most optimistic when they look to the future.


People Aged 40-49 Are Most Worried About the Cost of Living

Our survey included participants in six age categories: 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70+. Those in their 20s were the least concerned about the cost of living (49 per cent), with people aged between 40 and 49 the most worried (63 per cent). This was closely followed by Britons aged 50-59, and 60-69 – both at 62 per cent.

Over a third of Britons (36 per cent) said that the rising cost of living is affecting their finances – and of these, four in 10 were women.


Over a Third of People Are Worried They’re Not Financially Prepared for an Emergency

Do you ever worry that you don’t have enough money for unexpected bills for car repairs or health treatments? Thirty-five per cent of Brits do too. Meanwhile, 28 per cent worry about not being prepared for something going wrong in the home (which may cost a lot to fix).

Twenty-two per cent of respondents are living off a pension that’s too low to comfortably live off, while 18 per cent say they’re worried they’re not paying enough into their pension pot.

Of the six age groups, those most likely not to be plagued by financial worries are the 70+ demographic (23 per cent).


Planning for the Future: Savings and Investments

Only 39 per cent of respondents said they have money in savings or investments, with those in their 70s (61 per cent) coming out on top in this regard.

Over a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents are currently renting, with the figure including almost a third (31 per cent) of Britons aged 18-29, 29 per cent of 30–39-year-olds, and 27 per cent of 40-49-year-olds.

When it comes to setting up a financial life plan, just a third (33 per cent) have one in place. That said, 15 per cent are planning to create one.

Interestingly, younger people are amongst those most likely to have a financial plan; 48 per cent of those in their 20s have already set one up. Just over a fifth (21 per cent) of people in their 40s are also planning to put one in place.


Anxiety and Stress Surrounding Finances

A staggering 58 per cent of respondents are worried or stressed about their financial situation, with those aged between 18 and 29 the most anxious amongst the age categories surveyed (77 per cent). Only 35 per cent of those in their 60s, and 27 per cent of those in their 70s are worried.

The impact of financial worry means that 55 per cent of Britons suffer with stress and anxiety, 43 per cent are worried all the time, and 39 per cent say worry stops them from enjoying their life.

A third (33 per cent) say they feel helpless where their finances are concerned and, worryingly, 18 per cent of those in their 20s say money worries causes them to take up bad habits like drinking and gambling. 


Financial Regrets

When it comes to financial regrets, one in two Britons (51 per cent) have them; 54 per cent of this figure is made up of those in their 20s.

Elsewhere, 46 per cent regret not putting money into a savings account each month (rising to 51 per cent amongst those in their 30s and 40s), and 43 per cent wish they hadn’t spent money on pointless things.


Worried about not paying into a pension yet? Almost a third (29 per cent) of those in their 50s, and 33 per cent of those in their 60s, wish they had begun paying into theirs earlier, with 38 per cent of people in their 60s wishing they’d paid more into their pension pot.

Of those in their 70s, 19 per cent said they would’ve liked to have married someone with more money, while 17 per cent of those in their 20s said the same.

Feel regretful about how much you spend on rent? So do 22 per cent of those in their 20s. Eighteen per cent of people in the same age group say they wish they hadn’t bought such an expensive property.


Financial Goals and Advice

Looking at financial goals, 62 per cent of Britons have them, rising to 81 per cent for those in their 20s, and 77 per cent for those in their 30s. Younger people have more goals, with levels falling as we age.

Financial goals include ‘having enough money in savings to be able to treat themselves to nice things when they want’ (45 per cent, rises to 60 per cent for those in their 60s), and ‘saving a set amount each month’ (40 per cent).

Other goals include ‘having enough in their savings account to cover day-to-day living costs if they ever get ill’ (37 per cent, rising to 60 per cent for those in their 70s). Those in their 40s are most likely to have the goal of paying debt off within a set time (41 per cent), with 41 per cent of those in their 20s having the goal of being able to buy their home.

The advice the majority of Brits would give to their younger self is to ‘live within your means’ (41 per cent), ‘don’t overspend’ (39 per cent), ‘don’t get into debt’ (38 per cent) and to ‘save a set amount each month’ (36 per cent). 

Also covered in our survey, amongst other stats, are the amount of people who worry they don’t save enough money, the percentage of people (per age category) that describe their financial situation as ‘comfortable’, and the percentage of respondents who say finances simply aren’t important to them.

We also look at respondents’ outlook when it comes to getting a grip on their finances in the future, and the percentage of people who think finances should be taught to children in schools.


Getting Ahead Financially

Want to look forward to a healthier financial future? It’s never too late to start a pension pot; anything you can deposit into your account now, no matter how small, will stand you in good stead now.

If you’re between the ages of 18 and 39 and live in the UK, you could build up savings in a Lifetime ISA*, which allows you to get up to £1000 per year from the Government. This is designed to help you on your way to a deposit for your dream house.

For those keen to focus on savings and investments – our Stocks and Shares Flexible ISA* may be worth considering.

If you’re keen to get ahead where your savings are concerned, view our range of financial products** here on the site.

Until next time…

*/**Terms and conditions apply




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