Having savings, being debt-free, and going on two holidays a year means you’re ‘comfortable’, according to a study.
Researchers who polled 2,000 adults have revealed the top signs you’re in a good place financially – including having £500 of disposable income to spend every month.
But not all inclusions on the list are material – as some adults think being comfortable with money simply means having the ability to make wise decisions when it comes to spending.
Others think it’s having a good knowledge of financial services on the market, such as pensions, ISA’s and investments.
However, the study revealed less than half of those polled would say they’re financially comfortable – and of these, 56 per cent are over the age of 55.
Kris Brewster, head of products for Skipton Building Society, which commissioned the research, said:
It is easy to think that being in a good place with money means having a lot, but actually it is more about making sensible decisions when it comes to spending and saving.
Doing your homework about the market, understanding what is happening to money when it is invested, and shopping around for good opportunities are all important regardless of the quantity of money you have.
In particular, deciding where to keep your money can be one of the most important decisions you’ll make, because when your money is in a good place, so are you.
Other signs of being financially comfortable include getting through the average month without having to dip into savings, and not having to countdown the days until payday.
Those who are able to buy what they want without worrying, eat out without it having to be a special occasion, and buy all the ‘leading brands’ are also considered to be in a fortunate position with their finances.
It also emerged seven in 10 adults believe they’re sensible with money, with the average respondent having around £228 of disposable income to spend a month, and £146 to put into savings.
Just over half of respondents even reckon they could cope with an unexpected bill, while a further 35 per cent think they’ve a relatively good knowledge of the financial market and the services currently on offer.
But 37 per cent can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, and worry they’ll never be in a good place with their money – while four in 10 just don’t know what the future holds.
Almost half of those polled, via OnePoll, admit they’ve been with the same building society or bank for years because they don’t like change.
Kris Brewster added:
It’s great to see from our research that the number one sign you’re in a good place financially is to have savings – it isn’t about people believing they need to be able to buy the latest designer goods or own the biggest home to feel in a good place with their finances.
Savings do help people to feel more financially secure, as it provides them with a safety net in the case of emergencies. Savings are a necessity not a luxury.
It’s important when looking at managing your personal finances that saving is high on the priority list, regardless of the amount you can put away each month. We all want to feel like we’re in a good place with our finances.
Are you in a good place financially? To find out take this quiz.
Top 10 signs you’re in ‘a good place financially’:
1. You have savings
2. You don’t any have debt
3. You don’t have to count the days until your next payday
4. Getting through a month without having to dip into savings
5. Your mortgage is paid off
6. Having a ‘rainy day’ fund
7. You can buy what you want without worrying
8. Being able to afford house maintenance if it’s needed e.g. fix the shower ASAP if it breaks
9. Having more than £500 disposable income a month
10. Being able to treat yourself every now and then
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.