How does your spending compare to others?

How does your spending compare to others?When we construct a comprehensive Financial Plan for our clients, we are often asked how their financial position compares to others.

What are their assets like in comparison to people of a similar age? Do they have a bigger mortgage?

Do they spend more or less each month than their peers?

A new online tool from Halifax could prove to be useful for those who want to benchmark their spending habits against others.

The new ‘People Like You’ tool is designed to show people comparable spending habits with other people similar to themselves.

The tool provides tailored insights showing the spending habits for the chosen demographic, meaning people can also look at comparable data for what their spending and saving may look like when they are older or if they are considering moving to a different area.

Users can navigate around an interactive personalised results page to see information on the holidays taken, financial products, personal finance and employment status of people similar to them – even down to what devices are owned, hobbies and typical pets kept.

The data behind the tool was sourced from YouGov Profile data.

It includes several interesting findings, such as:

  • One in 10 of us spend over £100 a month eating out
  • A third of people age 64+ splash out on expensive holidays (over £999)
  • Two fifths took their most recent holiday in the UK
  • Our most popular hobbies are reading, gardening and cooking

The tool also reveals some facts about financial behaviours:

  • On average, almost a quarter of people don’t have any savings, with only a third having over £5k saved for a rainy day
  • Just under two fifths of people have less than £125 disposable income a month, but 14% have more than £750
  • A third of people have a mortgage, just over a quarter own outright, a third rent and just over a tenth live with their parents
  • Three fifths of people have at least one credit card

Annie Hind, Halifax Digital Director said:

“Although this is a fun way of showing people what others like them are spending their money on, there is also a serious message behind the service.

“We hope this will get people thinking about how they can best manage their money.

“Research by the Money Advice Service shows that, almost half of people are concerned about their finances with most favouring word of mouth recommendations or review sites.”

Comparing your spending habits and financial behaviour to others in a similar position is an interesting exercise and a bit of fun.

Of course what really matters is that your assets, liabilities, income and expenditure are on track to support your own goals in life.

This is where Financial Planning can play such an important role.

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