• 53% achieved or made significant progress toward their financial goals in 2023.
  • 4 in 10 did so by cutting back on non-essential spending.
  • 42% fewer people are living paycheck to paycheck.
  • Cost of living crisis has motivated 34% to become more financially resilient.
  • Achieving 2024 financial goals is a top priority for 54%.


December 28, 2023: Brits slashed their discretionary spending on average by 41% in 2023, cutting back on takeaways, clothes, home furnishings, and nights out to prioritise making progress toward their financial goals.

According to a recent survey of 2,000 people across the UK from saving and investing app Moneybox, over half (53%) of Brits have either achieved or made significant progress toward their 2023 financial goals, despite persistent cost of living challenges over the last year.

The majority have done so by spending less on non-essentials (40%), going out less (35%), budgeting (31%), committing to saving more (27%), and selling unwanted items (25%).

The research revealed that monthly spending on takeaways has fallen by 47% over the last year from £85.26 to £45.08, with spending on nights out tumbling by 34%, from £82.34 to £54.23.

Mobile phone bills have been cut by more than half, with the average monthly spend now just below £50 as consumers seek better deals.

Meanwhile, non-essential purchases of clothes and home furnishings reduced by more than 30%, from an average of £102.62 a month to £70.76.

It also emerged that there has been a 42% decline in the number of people living paycheck to paycheck over the last year, 17% in 2023, down from 30% in 2022. 

Over a third (34%) Brits also said that the cost of living crisis has motivated them to become more financially resilient and 27% say they have taken greater control of their finances as a result.

Nearly a fifth (19%) made a budget for the first time this year.

Brian Byrnes, head of personal finance at Moneybox, comments: “2023 has been another challenging year for many people across the UK with continued cost of living pressures. 

“Yet, our latest research paints a hopeful picture. We can see the significant lengths many people have gone to in order to make progress toward their goals, doing what they can to control their outgoings as well as prioritising saving for the future.

“There are helpful rules of thumb when it comes to our spending such as allocating 50% of our income to our needs (e.g. rent and bills), 30% towards discretionary spending and 20% towards our savings. When inflation is high, discretionary spending can be hard to track but Brits have shown admirable control in this area, and as such have been able to make progress towards their financial goals in tough conditions.” 

As we head into a new year, the research also revealed that achieving financial goals is a high priority for more than half of Brits (54%) when compared to other more ‘traditional’ resolutions like health and fitness or learning new skills. 

The most popular financial resolution for 2024 is to build up a rainy-day fund (31%) followed by investing (18%), regularly making a budget (16%), paying down debt (16%) and saving to go travelling (16%).

However, 28% have not set any financial goals for the coming year.

Byrnes concludes: “Taking the time in January to set goals can help put you on the right path for the rest of the year. As a former financial adviser, I have seen firsthand the benefits that can be gained from making and regularly reviewing a plan for your finances to help you achieve your short and longer-term goals. 

“While it can be easy to set financial resolutions, sticking with them can be a challenge, so it’s important to ensure that goals are both realistic and achievable. I would recommend setting calendar reminders every three months to check your progress, celebrate your achievements and adjust your goals as needed. There will always be unforeseen events that can take us off course but keeping the end goal in mind is the best way to ensure you’re always moving in the right direction.” 


– Ends – 


Editorial Notes:

Research conducted by One Poll on behalf of Moneybox from December 4th to December 14th, 2023. A nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults across the UK participated in the survey. They did not need to be Moneybox customers.

About Moneybox:

Moneybox is the award-winning app on a mission to help people build wealth with confidence so they can enjoy life, today and tomorrow. Launched in 2016 by co-founders Ben Stanway and Charlie Mortimer, the company has experienced rapid growth, and today has over £5bn in assets and a community of more than 1 million customers. Moneybox provides a range of great value products and services, across saving, investing, home-buying, and retirement as well as helpful tools and educational content, to help people manage and achieve their short, mid, and longer-term financial goals. Moneybox enables customers to set money aside in the way that suits them best using round-ups, regular deposits, or instant payments. In March 2022 Moneybox raised £35m in a Series D funding round, led by Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, existing investors Oxford Capital, CNP, Burda and Breega, plus new investor Polar Capital. This brings total funds raised by the digital wealth manager to £100+ million.