Are we all a ‘Peter Pan Generation’ when it comes to finances?

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FinancesWhen confronted with terms such as APR, GDP and ISA, most of those who are classed in Generation X will bury their heads in the nearest pillow, put a soothing track on their ipods and make a promise to anyone within earshot that they will look at the figures, well…later.

For a generation who refuses to grow up when it comes to dealing with their personal finances, that initial procrastination over their expenditure may have long-term implications on their financial futures.

Have you given yourself a financial health check

If an average 30-year-old gave themselves a financial health-check, they may find spending habits that would put a Russian oligarch to shame, unaccounted charges on their current accounts and hefty bills for long-forgotten credit cards.

The majority of ‘generation xers’ also live in fear of their own versions of Superman’s kryptonite; anything from Excel spreadsheets to tax returns. And while simple cost saving measures such as budgeting, voucher hunting and energy provider switching could save them hundreds, the ‘Peter Pan Generation’ would rather find a card with a higher limit, dine out in the finest restaurants and pay over the odds for their heating bills.

Being blissfully ignorant of their financial situations leaves the new generation of spenders free to indulge in yet another extravagant purchase’ and to leave pension pots to those who are just about to draw from them.

University debt rising

But with University debt mounting, 100% mortgages are an increasingly rare thing, the Peter Pan generation may have to face up to their financial fears years before they would have anticipated.

Recent research published by Scottish Widows revealed that almost half of workers are not building up enough of a savings pot, with a fifth failing to put away anything into their savings.

The research also indicated that while the average worker wants to look forward to an annual retirement income of £24,300, only 51% of those surveyed are saving a sufficient amount to be on track for this figure.

With saving clearly low on the agenda for today’s generation and the bank of mum of dad slowly going out of service as parents hit retirement, can young spenders really combat their financial phobia?

How to get to grips with your finances

According to TV financial expert Alvin Hall, there are 6 top tips that are designed to save a generation of over spenders from themselves.

If you’ve ever day dreamed about taking a flight of fancy to Neverland to escape your money woes, take heed of Alvin’s guide to financial security:

1. Get to grips with your finances: Make sure you understand how much is going in and out of your account and what it’s going on. Then budget accordingly.

2. Identify opportunities for savings: Are there any areas that you could cut back on and save a few pounds or pennies in the process? Just ‘eating in’ a few nights a week could add a tidy sum to your savings plan.

3. Pay off your outstanding consumer debt: Pay off credit cards and loans with the highest APR. Contact your Citizens Advice Bureau to help you negotiate payment plans with lenders.

4. Get saving: Put a small sum away in a high interest savings account, such as an ISA, and watch your money grow.

5. Set a goal: Whether it’s saving for a foreign holiday or a kitchen extension, having a savings goal can help you reign in your spending.

6. Review at regular intervals: Look at the deals offered by your financial providers and asses whether they are still meeting your needs.

 

Policy Expert

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The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.