One in five Brits don't keep track of monthly expenses

One in five Brits will have to keep better track of their spending to hit financial targets. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/PA Images
One in five Brits will have to keep better track of their spending to hit financial targets. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/PA Images

Brits are setting themselves big financial targets for 2021 — but one in five don't even keep track of their monthly spending, research suggests.

More than four in five (83%) Brits have set themselves at least one financial target for the year ahead, according to a survey of 1,000 people by mobile money app Monese.

However, establishing better spending and savings habits will be key for many to achieve these targets, as one in five (19%) admitted they “couldn’t say” how much they’d spent at the end of each calendar month.

READ MORE: UK savings rates fall to their lowest levels on record

The research found setting money aside for a rainy day (37%), hitting a savings milestone (26%), and saving cash for travel or a “dream holiday” (25%) are the nation's top financial goals for 2021.

Meanwhile, one in five just want to reduce their outgoings this year — perhaps unsurprising given how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many Brits’ finances.

“Keeping an eye on our expenditure is really important if we want to hit a specific financial goal — such as saving money for a holiday, a wedding, a new car, or even just making sure we’re covered to the next payday, to avoid missing bills,” said Sarah Holt, head of partnerships at Monese.

She advised: “Many banks and mobile money apps now offer accounts with budgeting tools, that can help you to stay on track.

READ MORE: Half of Brits rely on borrowing to get through January

“Do make use of all the helpful features that are available to you — they’re there to assist you and take the hassle out of budgeting and tracking what you’ve spent.”

To help those trying to spend less and save more, the experts at Monese shared some of their top tips for achieving financial goals.

Five easy ways to hit your financial targets in 2021

  1. Keep an overview of your income and essential outgoings each month so you know how much you have leftover and can avoid accidentally over-spending.

  2. Use your financial overview to set a monthly or weekly budget for non-essential spending and figure out how much you will be able to regularly save.

  3. Use all the the money management features your bank or money app offer — they will help you stay on top of your spending and saving.

  4. If you can, set up detailed transactional alerts for purchases. Seeing these alerts can make you more aware of what you’re spending.

  5. If you can, set savings aside in designated “pots” with clear purposes and names — “holiday,” for example. Transfer money to these pots automatically when you get paid so you don’t forget and spend it.

Watch: How Some People Are Missing Out on Money With a Basic Savings Account