According to new research from the Consumer Financial Education Body (CFEB), six out of ten people plan to get themselves financially fit in 2011.
Over half (57%) of the adult population (28m people) have set themselves a financial resolution. To reduce debt and build-up savings were the two most popular resolutions. To ‘save money’ and ‘for peace of mind’ were the primary motivations.
Despite the nation’s resolve to exercise its ‘money muscles’, a significant number of people - four out of ten UK adults (43% or 21m people) - said they have not set any financial or money-related resolution for 2011. And within this group eight million people (37%) admit they’re not ‘happy’ with their current financial situation. But worryingly, two million of these people (9%) will do nothing because ‘it will sort itself out over time’, and only some of those who are unhappy about it (2%) will seek professional advice.
Those who are unhappy with their financial situation, but have chosen not to begin their year with a money-related resolution, would do well to take some tips from their ‘money fit’ friends, who are already doing a range of things to make their resolution a reality: 37% have set themselves regular mini-goals or targets; 13% have made an action plan to achieve it; and 8% are seeking professional advice or support.
Today, CFEB launches its Money Workout campaign at:
www.moneymadeclear.org.uk/workout. It is designed to help people get their money into shape, minus the slog in a sweaty gym. Its simple three-step approach - set a money goal; give your money a workout; stay on the right track - can help everyone start 2011 with healthy money habits so they can fit comfortably into their new year budget.
Tony Hobman, Chief Executive of the Consumer Financial Education Body said:
“At this time of year there is lots of advice to help you lose pounds off your waistline. It’s great to hear so many people have also thought about the pounds in their pocket, and made a money resolution for 2011. Staying on course with any resolution can sometimes be tricky, but our Money Workout can help people to stay on track, and offers supportive steps for those who haven’t made a money-related resolution but feel unhappy or overwhelmed by their financial situation and would like to improve it in 2011.”
Commenting on the research, Kate Fox, a social anthropologist at the Social Issues Research Centre said:
“Clearly, financial problems are easier to ignore as they are not as immediately visible to the naked eye as, say weight problems – they don’t confront you every time you look in a mirror. But there are also more complex social and cultural reasons why we Brits are less inclined to set ourselves ‘money resolutions’ in the New Year. New Year’s resolutions are not just private goals but also an important social ritual: you announce them to your friends and talk about them in the pub – and there is still a sort of taboo in our culture on talking about one’s private finances. It is not done to ask somebody what they earn, or to volunteer this information yourself, for example. This may seem perverse, but it is actually more socially acceptable, and less embarrassing, to talk about one’s weight problems than about one’s financial difficulties”.