May 12, 2024: UK adults are spending twice as much time on social media than they are managing their personal finances.

A study of 2,000 adults found they devote just 24 minutes, on average, each week reviewing their expenses, budgeting and planning their future finances, but 48 minutes scrolling through social media platforms.

More time is also spent online shopping (26 minutes), listening to podcasts (31 minutes) and playing video games (39 minutes).

This research follows a separate study which found that spending time on money matters, whether planning for the future or learning about personal finance topics, is the most important factor that boosts financial confidence. 

Regardless of income, those with higher levels of financial confidence were found to be £58,000 better off in terms of net wealth, than those with low confidence. 

Brian Byrnes, Head of Personal Finance at saving and investing app Moneybox, comments: “I have always believed the best thing you can do for your financial situation is spend time getting to grips with money matters and our report shows just how valuable it can be.

“Setting aside time every week, to review your budget, research the best financial products for your needs or make a plan to help you achieve an important financial goal, will make a huge difference to your confidence and your financial position over time.”

The study found that worryingly only 20% of people say they consistently spend time learning about personal finance topics.

Another 20% don’t spend any time at all researching the best financial products for their needs, while 40% admit to only allowing a small amount of their time doing this.

And 28% admit that they don’t know how to go about choosing the right financial products for their needs.

Surprisingly, just 16% openly embrace digital tools and technology to help manage their finances. 

As a result, 64% of adults believe they have missed out on financial opportunities because of a lack of confidence and knowledge.

Moneybox’s Byrnes adds: “Spending thirty minutes each week working on your personal finances might not seem like a lot, but over the course of a year, this would result in twenty-six hours dedicated to improving your financial situation.

“For example, currently only 30% of people invest in the UK with a lack of confidence cited as the most common reason for why people don’t. 

“As a former financial adviser, I know that historically, investing has long been proven to be the best way to beat inflation and grow your money over time. 

“Imagine the impact spending twenty-six hours a year learning about investing could have on most people’s lives.

“To help get you started, here are 4 ways to spend your ‘30 money minutes’ each week.”

  1. If you don’t have one already, make a budget, log your income after tax, any pension, savings and investing contributions plus other expenses including regular bills to figure out your disposable income. Now once a month you can start to track where your money goes and where you might be able to find ways to economise and save more for the future.
  2. Try to articulate your short, mid and longer term financial goals. Put a target figure and timeline against each of them and add your monthly savings and investing contributions against each to help you track progress overtime.
  3. Pick a topic aligned with one of your financial goals and dedicate 30 minutes to learning. Read online articles about the topic, subscribe to financial podcasts and other educational forums. The more you immerse yourself in a topic the more confident you will become in building a plan that will help you achieve your important financial goals in life.
  4. Dedicate time to finding the best financial products to help you achieve your goals. For example, if you want to buy a home of your own, a Lifetime ISA might be what you need to make your dream a reality far sooner than would otherwise be possible. If you are saving or investing for the mid to long term, and want to ensure your savings interest and returns are protected from the taxman, an Individual Savings Account (ISA) may be the way to go. If you want to retire early, finding the most impactful way to grow your pension pot could be invaluable.


Notes to editors

Consumer research was conducted by One Poll on behalf of Moneybox from April 25th to April 30th, 2024. A nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults across the UK participated in the survey.

Net worth research and analysis was also conducted by One Poll from December 29th 2023 to January 9th, 2024. A nationally representative sample of 4,055 adults across the UK participated in the survey.

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 £6bn in assets and a community of more than 1.3 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.