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Less than a third of Brits use cash as preferred payment

Less than a third of British residents will use cash if there is an alternative payment method, with only 60% carrying cash on them unless they specifically need it despite the fact that the majority feel spending by cash is easier to keep track of.

The survey of 2000 people, conducted to find out just how financially savvy people actually are, highlighted 70% of UK residents would rate their financial management as good or excellent. However, four in ten Brits have experienced their card being declined or blocked due to forgetting their pin or not having enough money.

It also revealed that men most fear having their card rejected whilst out on a date, while females felt that the supermarket checkout would leave them the most red-faced.

A quarter of men admitted that they would be embarrassed if their date had to foot the bill, whereas women were more concerned with their professional image with 35% admitting that a client or colleague paying would create the most blushes. A fifth of women also admitted that they would hate a random stranger offering them money in the event of a financial meltdown.

Other results highlighted in the survey include:

  • A quarter of pensioners are most embarrassed by strangers paying for them, whereas 25-34 year olds said parents (22%).
  • 25-34 year olds are also the worst at knowing their finances with almost HALF having their card declined.
  • 1 in 4 people don’t sign the back of their cards leaving them open to fraud
  • Residents of Birmingham are almost 20% more likely to experience card issues, despite ranking themselves the best at managing their finances in the country.
  • 30% of Brits believe their financial management needs to be improved with them rating it average or worse.
  • Over 8% prefer to use cash as they don’t trust.

Commenting on the results, Clare McCullagh, managing director of Heavenly Online Accountants, said: “People are incredibly busy, so managing their finances isn’t always at the front of their mind. However, the cards that are getting declined are worrying, because they show that people are spending beyond their means.

“Some financial issues are just silly mistakes, but we feel judged by others when they happen. Mistakes are easily made though, and people have embarrassing hiccups even when they are in the best financial shape.”

Top seven tips for managing your finances

If you find it a bit tricky to keep track of what you’re spending, try using our Top Seven Tips to keep you on track:

  1. Keep a regular check of your bank balance. It’s so easy to do these days, either when you’re drawing cash out from the machine, by using an app on your phone, or looking.
  2. Make a note of what you spend, either on your phone or in a note book. When you look back at what you’ve spent it may give you an idea of where you can save money e.g. you could cut ten Costa coffees a week down to five, or get rid of the gym membership that you never use.
  3. Don’t use credit cards. If you don’t have the money in the bank you can’t afford whatever it is you’re buying. (However, if you do use one, then pay off the balance monthly, and don’t let the outstanding amount build up, as the interest charges will be high.)
  4. Try not to sign up for too many interest-free instalment purchases. The repayments soon add up and you may find yourself unable to live off your monthly income.
  5. You don’t have to buy everything new. The likes of eBay sell anything and everything second hand. High quality furniture items in particular, can be picked up for a fraction of the original price.
  6. Don’t go over your overdraft limit. Banks charge a straight one off fee for going over, however small the amount you’ve gone over by. Keep a cushion of money in your account to stop this happening.
  7. Look at your statements. You need to know what is going out of your account, and when, to keep a better handle of your finances.

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