Britons spend more time deciding on shopping than on savings

10th April 2015


Britons spend longer thinking about where to go on a date or whether to buy new clothes than they do about how much to save.


Research by Skipton Building Society reveals the average person takes just seven minutes and 52 seconds to decide how much to save but they spend eight minutes and 58 seconds deciding where to go on a date and just over 10 minutes deciding whether to buy new clothes or not.


Even more worryingly, those surveyed take four days making up their mind on how to spend spare income but give little thought to what to put aside in savings.


‘We’re a nation of hares and tortoises when it comes to making decisions,’ said Stacey Stothard of Skipton.


‘But we really should aim to be the wise owl instead. People who don’t over think those day-to-day smaller decisions, but consciously allocate themselves time and space to think through the important ones enjoy a balance that many overlook.’


The survey also revealed that more than five days are needed to decide whether to increase monthly pension contributions.


Nine in 10 Brits believe they are good at making decisions but a quarter said they make snap decisions.


‘It might not matter if you take an age deciding what to have to for lunch, but choosing how much money you want to put into savings each month or your pension contributions will directly affect your and your family’s financial future,’ she said.


‘We see this behaviour first hand in our branches during ISA season. We see notably calm, organised customers who come 6 April have all of their tax free savings arranged for the year ahead- enjoying a full year’s worth of tax free savings. But we also see last minute savers, busy people who leave it until the last day of the tax year to secure that year’s ISA allowance, costing them potentially hundreds of pounds or even their entire year’s tax free savings allowance.’


Decision times:

What drink to order in a pub or bar – 1 minute 53 seconds

What to have for lunch – 3 minutes 13 seconds

What to have for dinner – 4 minutes 55 seconds

What outfit to wear that day – 5 minutes 37 seconds

Which bottle of wine to buy – 5 minutes 40 seconds

What film to watch at the cinema – 6 minutes 25 seconds

How much money to put into savings – 7 minutes 52 seconds

Where to go on a date – 8 minutes 58 seconds

Whether to buy a new item of clothing or outfit – 10 minutes 8 seconds

How to spend your spare income – 4 days 2 hours

Who to vote for in an election – 5 days 18 hours

Whether to increase your monthly pension contributions – 5 days 19 hours

Where to go on holiday – 7 days 13 hours

Whether to get married – 8 days 12 hours

Whether to have children – 8 days 12 hours

Whether to switch your gas/electric supplier – 8 days 13 hours

Whether to go on holiday – 9 days 10 hours

What to buy your spouse/partner for their birthday – 10 days 6 hours

What to buy your spouse/partner for Christmas – 10 days 11 hours

Which school to send your children to – 11 days 1 hour

Which car to buy – 15 days 5 hours


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