Research from Nationwide Building Society’s Payday Saveday campaign reveals procrastination is costing people an average of £449 each year or almost £30,000 (£29,200) over their lifetime. The national poll of 2,000 adults in the UK shows that 57 per cent have been caught out financially by leaving things to the last minute and nearly two in three (63%) self-identify as procrastinators. People have paid the price – literally – mainly by leaving it late to find gifts (50%), not putting money into a savings account (38%) and last-minute holiday planning (30%).
Technology has a huge part to play in us putting things off; checking phones (24%), watching television (22%) and browsing social media (20%) are the top things people do to procrastinate. However, approaching deadlines (36%) and encouragement from others (26%) snapped people out of procrastinating.
The good news is that we get wiser as we get older when it comes to planning. Two in five (40%) of those aged 55 or older describe themselves as procrastinators compared to 87 per cent of 16-24s and 78 per cent of 25-34s. And, only 32 per cent of people aged 55 or older say they’ve been caught out leaving things late, compared to 71 per cent of 25 to 34-year olds. Men typically leave things to the last minute more often, costing them an average of £571 a year, compared to just £325 per year for women.
The research also found that saving money was the top habit that people would like to learn (35%), ahead of healthy eating (33%), exercising (32%) and getting up early (32%). Almost half (48%) of people aged 25-34 wanted to learn to save money regularly – the highest of any age group.
Nationwide’s research found many of those questioned said that they also felt guilty about putting off activities. More than one in three people (36%) regret putting off exercising, followed by saving money (29%) and eating healthily (29%).