Here are four ways to spend 30 ‘money minutes’ a week

Brits are spending twice as much time on social media as they are managing their personal finances.

A study of 2,000 adults found they devote just 24 minutes on average, each week, reviewing their expenses, budgeting and planning their future finances - but 48 minutes scrolling through social media platforms.

More time is also spent online shopping (26 minutes), listening to podcasts (31 minutes) and playing video games (39 minutes).

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In a separate study it was found spending time on money matters, whether planning for the future or learning about personal finance topics, is the most important factor that boosts financial confidence.

And, regardless of income, those with higher levels of financial confidence were found to be £58k better off in terms of net wealth, than those with low confidence.

Brian Byrnes, head of personal finance at saving and investing app Moneybox, which commissioned both pieces of research, said: “I have always believed the best thing you can do for your financial situation is spend time getting to grips with money matters and our report shows just how valuable it can be.

“Setting aside time every week, to review your budget, research the best financial products for your needs or make a plan to help you achieve an important financial goal, will make a huge difference to your confidence and your financial position over time.”

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Switching priorities

The study found that worryingly, only 20 per cent of people say they consistently spend time learning about personal finance topics.

Another 20 per cent don’t spend any time at all researching the best financial products for their needs, while 40 per cent admit to only allowing a small amount of their time doing this.

And 28 per cent admit they don't know how to go about choosing the right financial products for their needs.

Surprisingly, just 16 per cent openly embrace digital tools and technology to help manage their finances, the research conducted via OnePoll found.

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As a result, 64 per cent of adults believe they have missed out on financial opportunities because of a lack of confidence and knowledge.

Brian Byrnes from Moneybox added: “Spending thirty minutes each week working on your personal finances might not seem like a lot, but over the course of a year, this would result in 26 hours dedicated to improving your financial situation.

“For example, currently only 30 per cent of people invest in the UK with a lack of confidence cited as the most common reason for why people don't.

“As a former financial adviser, I know that historically, investing has long been proven to be the best way to beat inflation and grow your money over time. Imagine the impact spending 26 hours a year learning about investing could have on most people's lives."

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 Four ways to spend ’30 money minutes’ a week

If you don't have one already, make a budget, log your income after tax, pension, savings, investing contributions and other expenses including regular bills to figure out your disposable income.

Now, once a month you can start to track where your money goes and where you might be able to find ways to economise and save more for the future.

Try to articulate your short, mid and longer term financial goals. Put a target figure and timeline against each of them and add your monthly savings and investing contributions against each to help you track progress overtime.

Pick a topic aligned with one of your financial goals and dedicate 30 minutes to learning. Read online articles about the topic, subscribe to financial podcasts, read forums.

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The more you immerse yourself in a topic the more confident you will become in building a plan that will help you achieve your important financial goals in life.

Dedicate time to finding the best financial products to help you achieve your goals. For example, if you want to buy a home of your own, a Lifetime ISA might be what you need to make your dream a reality far sooner than would otherwise be possible.

If you are saving or investing for the mid to long term, and want to ensure your savings interest and returns are protected from the taxman, an Individual Savings Account (ISA) may be the way to go. If you want to retire early, finding the most impactful way to grow your pension pot could be invaluable.

Time spent on activities each week

  1. Scrolling through social media - 48 minutes
  2. Playing video games - 39 minutes
  3. Listening to podcasts - 31 minutes
  4. Online shopping - 26 minutes
  5. Managing personal finances - 24 minutes
  6. Figuring out what to have for dinner - 21 minutes
  7. Finding something to watch on Netflix - 19 minutes
  8. Watching Friends reruns - 16 minutes
  9. Planning what outfits to wear - 16 minutes
  10. Browsing property websites even if you have no plans to buy - 16 minutes
  11. Planning your Premier League Fantasy Football team - 14 minutes

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