A recent study of 2,000 adults has revealed that almost half of Brits now possess a ‘want it now’ attitude, with nearly two in five (38%) describing themselves as generally impatient in life. The research highlights various triggers of impatience, including slow walkers, public transport delays, and waiting for the internet to load.
The study found that the average adult is only willing to endure a maximum of 15 minutes on hold during a phone call before hanging up. Furthermore, 57% of respondents attribute their lack of patience to the rise of technologies like smartphones.
Interestingly, four in 10 individuals are willing to spend more money to obtain the things they desire sooner. However, this impatience can have consequences for financial planning, as 19% of respondents hesitate to invest their money due to the time it takes to see returns.
Despite having saved an average of £1,279 over the past year, 38% of young adults aged 18-34 have never considered investing their money. James Hewitston, Head of Wealth Management at HSBC UK, which commissioned the research, emphasizes the importance of long-term financial planning: “While most of us have goals for the future, it can seem a long way off so it’s easy to focus on what we want now and worry about the future later.”
The study also found that 32% of adults aged 18-24 have made unusual investments in pursuit of quick financial gains. These investments include classic cars (23%), sports memorabilia (21%), musical instruments (20%), and even vintage stamps (14%). However, 57% admitted that their impatience and reluctance to play the long game have caused them to miss out on various opportunities.
A survey via OnePoll revealed that 15% of 18-24-year-olds prioritize playing the long game in relationships rather than investments. Jo Hemmings, a behavioural psychologist partnering with HSBC UK, explains the natural inclination towards instant gratification: “Our brains are naturally wired up to enjoy the dopamine hit that comes with achieving instant gratification, and this can come from anything in life, including our finances.”
Hemmings offers tips for adopting a long-term mindset, including resisting temptation, setting goals and breaking them down into smaller milestones, understanding the consequences of actions, setting realistic deadlines, and celebrating smaller achievements along the way.
The research also compiled a list of the top 30 things that Brits have no patience for, ranging from being put on hold to waiting for online deliveries and finding the right partner through multiple dates.
The pervasive ‘want it now’ attitude among Brits serves as a reminder of the need for balanced financial planning and a shift towards long-term thinking.