More than half of UK adults, or 52 per cent, say they are feeling generally hopeful about their finances in 2024, according to Aegon.
Meanwhile, just under two in five, 38 per cent, feel negative. Females, 47 per cent, and those aged 50 to 59, 46 per cent, are less likely to feel positive.
According to UK adults in 2024, covering basic living expenditures ranks as their top financial priority, 37 per cent, particularly for women, 42 per cent, and people between the ages of 50 and 59, 39 per cent. Common financial priorities include saving for emergencies, 32 per cent, having fun, and living, 28 per cent, yet, as of late 2021, “enjoying life” has fallen in importance.
In response to a question concerning particular events affecting their sentiments towards money, over half, 49 per cent, said they would feel more upbeat if inflation decreased. As opposed to this, only 6 per cent would be more pessimistic, roughly 25 per cent believe their opinion wouldn’t change, and 16 per cent aren’t sure.
Aegon Pensions Director Steven Cameron says: “As we enter 2024 and look to the year ahead, our research suggests people’s confidence and optimism is returning when it comes to their personal finances. For many, this is being bolstered by recent falls in inflation and hopes for further reductions.
“But our research also points to how the cost-of-living crisis and paying for basic living expenses remains the priority for many individuals and their personal finances.
“Since previous research, released in 2022, ‘Building up emergency savings’ has overtaken ‘Enjoying life’ to sit in second place. Those prioritising ‘Enjoying life’ has dropped to 28 per cent from 34 per cent over that period.
“Those aged 50 to 59, in the early years of their ‘Second 50’ are less likely to feel positive about finances and a gender divide exists, with females far less likely to feel positive about finances than males.
“Our research makes it abundantly clear that lower inflation would make people more optimistic about their personal finances in the year ahead.
“Recent drops in inflation are hopefully a sign that inflation can be brought back under control after a tumultuous 18 months.
“Crucially ‘paying for basic living expenses’ (37 per cent) is the most common financial priority for UK adults going into 2024. The cost of everyday living, from hefty gas and electricity bills to the price of food is a huge challenge for millions of individuals and households.
“Those on a fixed income continue to face a tricky time ahead, and that includes many pensioners despite the inflation busting 8.5 per cent rise in the state pension from this April due to the triple lock.
“The elephant in the room remains whether the triple lock is sustainable long term. The state pension is a lifeline to millions but is very costly for today’s workers to fund from their National Insurance. We urge all political parties to make their state pension intentions clear ahead of the General Election. It could have a major influence over voting preferences.”
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