Forgetfulness could be costing Brits a fortune

The Momentum UK Team 12 March 2014

Our busy lifestyles are making us forgetful, and it’s costing us money according to new research from Standard Life.

The research, released today, found that 61% of UK adults often have a “memory lapse” about seemingly simple things. A third (33%) of us frequently forget to reply to text messages and emails - much to the frustration of our family and friends! Fifteen percent of us frequently forget to attend appointments, such as with the doctor or the dentist.

As well as being inconvenient for ourselves and others, these memory slips have the potential to cost us a significant amount of money. A worrying 21% (one in five) of us forget to log out of our online accounts, potentially compromising the security of our data. Fourteen percent of us forget to lock the house, leaving the door open for costly burglary.

With so many aspects of our financial lives to keep on top of, it can be easy to lose track; 15% of people forget to pay their bills on time, which can lead to late payment penalties.

The report highlighted differences between age groups: 74% of 25-34 year olds appear to be “scatter-brains”, being the most likely to forget to book a restaurant, collect dry cleaning and book the car for its MOT. 16-24 year olds were the most likely to forget to pay back money owed to friends and family, and 35-44 year olds were the most likely to forget a bill payment.

Julie Hutchinson from Standard Life commented on the findings:

“With our busy lives, we can all forget to do things occasionally. But when we forget to secure our accounts online, or pay bills and then face a penalty for late payment, we can be left out of pocket unnecessarily and kicking ourselves. Similarly, if we forget to review our savings and investments regularly, we can feel annoyed about the missed opportunity when we realise our money could have been working much harder for us. Setting up alerts on your phone or using a planning app could help make sure you don’t forget important things.

“With the end of the tax year looming, I’d encourage everyone to focus on their finances and not to forget to use up their tax efficient ISA allowances if they can.”