Majority of UK adults wasting £3,000 a year

But those who saved said they felt "reassured"

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The Independent Online

The majority of adults in the UK waste a staggering £3,000 a year according to a new study which reveals attitudes towards saving.

Some 38 million UK adults – amounting to over three quarters - admit to spending £52 a week on products and services that in hindsight could have been saved or better spent. Over the course of a year, this totals £2,704.

However, participants said they could reduce their spending on average by £92 a month without significantly impacting their lifestyle.

The research by Standard Life showed that many people prefer short term gratification over larger long term gains, as over a third UK adults said they would rather have £100 now than £1,000 in five years’ time, with 45 per cent saying the wait was too long.

When gender was considered, 39 per cent of women said they wanted the instant payout, versus 32 per cent of men.

In addition, just over half found it hard to resist spending all of the money they earn each month – rising to 69 per cent for those aged under 35.

And as many as 14 per cent admitted to making an impulse purchase of over £50 in the past month which they regretted, with 54 per cent revealing the feeling kicked in within a day of spending the money.

However, just 51 per cent of UK adults save money each month while a fifth say they never save at all.

But out of those who did save, over half it makes them feel ‘reassured’ while 46% feel it is ‘rewarding’.

The findings come after as a report this week revealed that families still have less money to spend than when David Cameron came to office in 2010, although average living standards have returned to pre-recession levels of seven years ago.

Analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows the recovery has been very slow and families remain extremely cautious about spending.