Financial attitudes shift in response to credit crunch

09-04-2009

Financial attitudes shift in response to credit crunch
Major life changes are causing people to alter their attitude to savings and finances, after a survey revealed people were becoming less tolerant of debt and less likely to trust people with their money.

The survey from online stockbrokers Selftrade found half of adults had been forced to change plans for their finances in the last year, with 87 per cent of those changes prompted by a major life event.

These events included relationship breakdowns, going back into education, paying off debts, starting a family or changes associated with the economic downturn such as redundancy.

The results from over 2,000 UK adults showed 45 per cent were now more careful about getting in to debt, with 28 per cent of people concertedly trying to live within their means.

Around 30 per cent of people reported they were saving in case of financial emergency, while 21 per cent were making sure they saved money before purchasing an item.

These trends were particularly pronounced for people who had been made redundant, with this group the most likely to be concerned for their financial security. People who had recently paid back their debts were most likely to be living within their means.

Dr Stephen Barber, head of research at Selftrade, said: "There is clear evidence from our data to suggest a financial mind shift is taking place. Brits are becoming intolerant to debt and are sacrificing the lure of instant gratification for long term goals and these are all prerequisites for a genuine savings culture returning to Britain.

"Second, it is clear from our research that attitudes to money do not remain constant during adult life. Almost one in two adults have experienced a Plan B - the need to re-plan life in response to major and unexpected event or incident.

"As people go through such experiences, the slate is wiped clean and they re-focus and re-plan their life and goals and their financial priorities change to reflect this."

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