Have you got your priorities right?

Monday 11 January 2016, 12:16 PM

Ricky Butler
Head of Best Practice , LifeSearch

  • Mobile_shopping_Lg

Managing the family finances is about priorities and compromise, things you want often give way to things you need. But if you sit back and think about it, do you always get the balance right?

Research has highlighted the vast amount of money we waste on unnecessary expenses and lifestyle choices, while important financial decisions are put on the back burner and often disregarded as being too expensive. My brother unwrapped a new mobile phone in front of me this week. It was the new iphone. He couldn’t wait to play around with it but much to my surprise the first thing he said after unwrapping it was ‘I must get it insured’. I asked him how much that would cost him and he said the chap at the store had quoted him a £10 a month which ‘wasn’t bad’. We all love to treat ourselves, be it living the cafe culture or signing up to a yearly gym membership, but have we got our priorities right? There's a whole list of things we waste our money on that could be better spent on more meaningful and important purchases.

  • The average spend on takeaway coffees in the UK is £393 per year. For just £5 more each month you could buy an income protection plan that protects you until you retire. Which makes the most sense?
  • Britons are spending up to £1,213 per year on unused subscriptions. Work it out, how many months could you take off your mortgage term if you overpaid by this amount each year?
  • Britons waste a staggering £37million a year on gym memberships, exercise and slimming classes they rarely attend. To put that in perspective, that’s more than Cancer Research raise each year in voluntary donations.
  • The average UK mobile phone user wastes £195 a year because they are on contracts they don’t fully use. This adds up to approaching £5bn a year. That’s as much as smoking related illness and disease costs the NHS each year.
  • Ask yourself this – a week’s worth of takeaway coffee or a protect your income - which is the money well spent?