Not saving enough tops Britons' money regrets

What else made the top ten?

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Not saving enough cash, having a paltry pension pot and getting into debt are Britons' biggest financial regrets, research has found.

Being unable to work or earn more in their job, delaying buying a house, taking bad advice from family or friends and getting divorced were other common money mistakes, according to the findings from insurer Partnership.

While one in 20 (5%) people had no regrets about their money decisions, the vast majority of people wished they had made different choices, the research found.

Two-fifths (40%) of people wished they had saved more cash, while a further 19% regretted not putting more money into their pension.

One in six (15%) people regretted digging themselves into debt, while one in 10 (10%) had been influenced by family or friends to make poor financial decisions, by following bad advice or lending money, for example.

One in 14 (7%) people surveyed also said that getting divorced had been a big financial blunder, while the same proportion regretted delaying buying a house.

One in nine (11%) people wished they had been able to work more or earn more in their job.

And 9% of people regretted making an investment that had not performed as well as they had hoped.

The research found that people aged between 18 and 39 were more likely than those over 40 to have regretted not saving enough money.

Those aged over 40 were more likely than the younger generation to have regretted not saving more into their pension.

There were also regional variations in the regrets among the 2,000 people surveyed across the UK.

People in Scotland and Northern Ireland were particularly likely to regret not saving enough, while those in London and Northern Ireland were particularly likely to regret not saving more into their pension.

Those in East Anglia were particularly likely to regret getting into debt and not working or earning more in their job.

Consumers in Yorkshire and London were the most likely to regret delaying buying a house.

People in the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the South West were particularly likely to have said listening to family and friends influenced them to make bad financial decisions. Meanwhile, people in Wales and East Anglia were the most likely to list a divorce among their biggest financial regrets.

Mark Stopard, head of product development at Partnership, said the findings suggest that "sometimes the heart overrules the head when it comes to finances".

He continued: "No one cited saving too much as a problem, which certainly implies that, whenever possible, people should look to be as prudent as they can with their income and put aside what they can afford for later life or a rainy day."

Here are people's biggest financial regrets, according to Partnership. The overall findings are followed by the percentages of people aged between 18 and 39 who chose an option as a financial regret, followed by those aged 40-plus. People were allowed to choose more than one option:

1. I did not save enough, 40%, 50%, 34%.

2. I did not save enough into my pension, 19%, 14%, 22%.

3. I got myself into debt by borrowing too much/due to circumstances, 15%, 15%, 16%.

4. I was not able to work more or earn more in my chosen occupation, 11%, 12%, 11%.

5. I made poor financial choices linked to family/friends - for example lent money or took advice, 10%, 10%, 10%.

6. I put money into an investment that did not perform, 9%, 5%, 12%.

=7. I delayed buying a house, 7%, 6%, 7%.

=7. I got married and subsequently divorced, 7%, 1%, 10%.

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