A third of Brits have paid for a subscription they haven't been using

52% of Brits can't remember their last card payment

Claire Roberts
Authored by Claire Roberts
Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - 12:56

Personal finance experts, https://oceanfinance.co.uk/ have surveyed 1,000 Brits about their money memory, in order to uncover how financially forgetful Brits have become due to their reliance on fintech i.e. contactless payments, auto-fill passwords. 

Unfortunately, their findings are quite worrying when it comes to Brits’ money memory 

Key Findings:

Ocean Finance’s survey has revealed that:

  • Over half (52%) of Brits can’t remember the last payment they made on their debit or credit card.
  • Almost a third (33%) of Brits have paid for a subscription, which they weren’t using and forgot to cancel. 
  •  39% of Brits aren’t aware of the exact amount that they are paid each month.
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Brits aren’t aware of how much money they pay into their pension pot.

Real-life case study:

Letting these figures slip can have a negative implication on your ability to effectively budget, which could leave you having to live frugally nearer the end of the month, or in worst case scenarios, overspending and landing yourself in financial difficulty – as this real-life case study shows.  

Lauren Green, a 28 year-old marketing consultant from Newcastle Upon Tyne said: “In my last role, I didn’t actually know the exact figure I got paid monthly. Which meant, if there was a payment discrepancy, I wouldn’t have known. It also meant that I didn’t budget or save and lived month to month. 

“Now, I know exactly what I have, what I get paid and have a budget sheet with everything that needs to be paid each month, which allows me to save. I can also make sure that I know what I’m putting into my pension. But, without knowing exactly what is in – and coming out of my bank account – I couldn’t save what I have done, so I think it’s so important that people really make time to get to know their money and start understanding how to manage it from an early age.” 

Eight Easy Ways to Improve Your Money Memory

For those that think they’d be counted amongst the most financially forgetful Brits, don’t fret! Luckily, Ocean Finance have pulled together their top tips for keeping on top of your finances, whilst taking the most forgetful tasks into consideration:

  1. Get into the habit of budgeting and setting yourself goals -  This will help you to stay on top of your incoming funds and outgoings, improving your money memory as it becomes routine.
  2. Cancel unused subscriptions - When signing up to a trial subscription, make sure to make a note of when the trial comes to an end, so that you’re not charged for something you may not be using.
  3. Check your payslip – Not only will this help keep track of how much you have to spend on essentials (and luxuries), but it will allow you to check for unexpected changes that need to be flagged with your employer. 
  4. Limit your reliance on auto-fill passwords – This will make you less suspectable to fraudand also help you improve your memory around important financial details. 
  5. Set up a reminder schedule – Create your own recurring reminders ahead of when important payments are due (direct debits, utilities etc.) so you’re prepared.
  6. Plan contingences – Consider setting up a monthly direct debit to an account dedicated to paying for essentials to ensure that you never miss a bill and develop a buffer over time.
  7. Get familiar with your credit rating – There are a lot of benefits to maintaining a healthy credit score, such as paying less interest, saving money on car insurance, and finding it easier to rent or buy a property.
  8. Use tools to help keep yourself on track – Sites like ClearScore can help you check and understand your credit rating, and budgeting apps (i.e. Money Dashboard, Emma) can help keep you on top of your finances.

The above tips can be found in full detail on Ocean Finance’s helpful guide, which also delves further into how financial forgetfulness can differ between genders and regions > https://www.oceanfinance.co.uk/blog/how-financially-forgetful-are-brits/?msID=efcd781c-0e5c-45d4-9cd7-f6266f0e7b91

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