Brits are wasting £25 billion each year due to unused monthly payments, according to NatWest research.

The typical adult pays out £496 in recurring payments each month, yet £39 of that goes on things they don’t use or want.

Gym memberships (12%), phone contracts (11%) and video streaming subscriptions like Netflix (10%) top the list of unused outgoings – which also includes old insurance schemes (9%) and food delivery subscriptions (6%). This equates to £468 a year or nearly £30,000 wasted over an average Brit’s lifetime.

Financial confidence

A lack of financial confidence, and not wanting to engage with finances, could be a contributing factor. Almost two in five (38%) of Brits leave it at least 6 months between reviewing direct debits and standing orders, with one in 10 reviewing them less than once a year. There are even over 2.6 million people (5%) who admit to never checking their direct debits at all.

Katie Murray, Chief Financial Officer at NatWest, said: “People across the UK lead busy lives which can mean they’re left juggling lots of expenses each month. This can make it daunting to prioritise and begin to make better financial decisions. Our research today shows that a simple first step towards taking control of your money could be reviewing and cancelling old payments that you no longer use. 

“We are passionate about equipping people with a more positive mindset and greater capability around their money. We know it’s important for people to learn these skills from an early age as it helps them make the right financial choices in later life. That’s why our MoneySense programme has been helping young people build a better financial future for over 25 years with more to come this year.”

NatWest MoneySense programme and Financial Health Checks

Helping people manage their money and increase their financial confidence is a focus for NatWest. Improving the financial capability of the nation has been a longstanding goal of NatWest through its MoneySense programme, providing parents and teachers with the tools to give young people (5 – 18 years old) the confidence to use money responsibly on their own. Millions of young people have already begun strengthening their financial capability either at home with their family or at school, through the NatWest MoneySense programme.

The bank also offers everyone – whether they are a customer or not – a free Financial Health Check to help take control of their finances.


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