New research commissioned by Leeds Building Society has revealed that nearly a quarter (23%) of those aged over 55 describe themselves as spenders, spending on average at least £93 a month on non-essential items such as cosmetics.
When it comes to saving, over a third (37%) of those aged over 55 save less than £60 a month, with fewer than one in five (19%) saying they have a standing order set up to pay into a savings account each month.
Following these findings, Leeds Building Society enlisted the help of Consultant Psychologist, and author of Willpower For Dummies, Dr Frank Ryan, to provide advice and guidance to those over the age of 55 who are wanting to save money and to help people train themselves to become a saver rather than a spender. Dr Ryan’s top five tips to help you save money this summer are:
1. “Think about all those times you’ve bought yourself something non-essential and ask yourself how long does that good feeling last? It will make you feel good now, but later, you are just paying an extra monthly bill or larger credit card payment.”
2. “If you come across a spending opportunity whether online or while out shopping, aim to distract yourself. The impulse to buy something is usually short lived, and can dissipate after 5 or 10 minutes.
3. “Make decisions in advance by making a list of what you need. Do this for clothes shopping as well as food. This way you’ll remember the items you actually need and will be less likely to make the wrong decisions, preserving your willpower.”
4. “Think about the last time you bought something you didn’t really need or spent more than you could afford. Note the time, place and how you were feeling. Were you tired and stressed, or happy and excited? These are your ‘high risk’ situations. Think ahead and anticipate when you might be in a high-risk situation, and make a plan for it.”
5. “Differentiate between spending and borrowing – if what you’re buying is adding to your credit card bill, that’s borrowing, not spending!”
Commenting on the study, Dr Ryan said: “Before we spend or save, a decision is always necessary – even if it is an impulsive one the brain does not sit on the fence! Spending decisions are usually driven by short term rewards whereas saving is about focusing on the long term benefits.
“Those over the age of 55 should be thinking about enjoying their retirement and therefore want to put away funds for special occasions, such as children’s weddings or first homes, or even to treat themselves to a well-earned holiday. I hope my tips and advice provide a useful tool to help people achieve their saving goals.”
If you’re interested in taking on the Savers vs Spenders challenge and would like further advice from Dr Frank Ryan, visit: http://www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk/knowledge-base/savers/how-to-train-yourself-to-become-a-better-saver/