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Quarter of UK population dither over personal finances

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The UK population’s pronounced propensity for procrastination is having a deleterious impact on their ability to manage personal finances capably, according to new research released today by peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter.

The study found that the average Briton wastes a cumulative 55 days per year (218 minutes daily) by dithering. A quarter of Britons (24 per cent) admit to specifically procrastinating over personal finances, despite 17 per cent believing they’d be in a better financial position if they stopped, and two in five (41 per cent) believing they’d have fewer worries about the future.

Half of respondents aged over 55 recognised that less procrastination would help them have more money in later life.

Most procrastination time is spent surfing the web; on average, Brits spend 90 minutes using the internet for fun every day, sometimes as a tactic for avoiding planned tasks. Other popular idling activities included watching television (an hour per day), social media browsing and unnecessary tidying (25 minutes per day).

RateSetter’s research indicates that this nationwide penchant for dawdling means that while almost a third of all savers (30 per cent) are dissatisfied with the negligible interest rates offered by their savings accounts, and almost half (46 per cent) express interest in alternative saving opportunities, savings accounts are still used by over half (53 per cent) of the population.

“We began to look at procrastination due to the sheer volume of people who expressed their dissatisfaction with the poor returns on their money, but who fail to do anything about it,” Rhydian Lewis, CEO of RateSetter, said.

“For a long time people accepted low rates of returns because they didn’t know there was a better way. In the last two years the peer-to-peer industry has grown exponentially. We hope this increased exposure is helping to educate consumers that if they stop putting off managing their finances they could reap the rewards.”

To view the study’s results in infographic form, click here.

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