Research from Hodge Bank has revealed that people’s top priority in life is to be debt free, followed by buying a new home and spending more time with family.

According to the research – which asked over 3000 people about their attitudes to finances – 58% of people claimed that their biggest priority in life is to be debt-free.

Emma Graham, Business Development Director at Hodge, said “The results of our research highlight the importance people place on having financial security and freedom to make choices that allow them to enjoy life.

“Our research also showed that those who were happy with their finances were more optimistic about the future and generally more satisfied with life in general. There’s no doubt that having plans in place to ensure financial security has a direct correlation on wellbeing and life satisfaction.”

The research also revealed the obstacles that people face in trying to achieve these goals. For example, of those looking to buy a house in the next five years, the challenges are:

  • House Prices
  • Ability to save money
  • Paying off debt
  • Affordable housing
  • Work life balance

Graham continued “When asked about the challenges that impact how people feel in their lives, the inability to save and lack of financial knowledge featured significantly as one of the top concerns. At Hodge we feel really strongly about the importance of seeking financial advice and being more open about finances and having those tricky conversations about money.  Many people don’t seek advice because they think their situation doesn’t warrant it, however, the reality is, good financial advice can significantly help people achieve their life priorities both in the short and long term.”

The findings come from an intergenerational study conducted by Hodge, who interviewed over 3000 people about their attitudes towards finances and their aspirations for the future. The study ‘It’s all relative’ is part of a campaign from Hodge to encourage families to be more open about their finances.

Based on the research, the top ten life priorities for people across the UK are:

  1. Being debt free
  2. Buying a new home / first home
  3. Spending more time with family
  4. Improving my health and fitness
  5. Funding my retirement
  6. Improving my own self-esteem/happiness
  7. Supporting my family / loved ones (non-financially)
  8. Travelling
  9. My career
  10. Saving for children, grandchildren