Singaporean millennials don’t have enough time to manage their finances – and it’s causing them immense stress, HSBC says

A HSBC study found that young people in particular were “struggling” to complete financial tasks like checking upcoming payments, managing savings and planning investments.

Singaporean millennials are a time-pressed lot, it seems – and it may be affecting their financial future.

A HSBC study of 6,000 respondents from five countries – Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Australia and the UK – found that local millennials reported having the least free time out of all respondents surveyed.

The study defined millennials as people aged 18 to 34 years old.

In addition, people from the republic had the least free time out of all the countries surveyed.

The research, which was was conducted over ten days in September, looked at how peoples’ free time affected their ability to manage their finances.

Singapore’s young adults were particularly “time-pressed” and had “little or no time to themselves”, HSBC said.

According to the study, over 90 per cent of young Singaporeans were “struggling” to keep on top of financial tasks like checking upcoming payments, managing savings and planning investments. When they did finally get around to doing these tasks, they took longer than usual to complete them.

In addition, the awareness that they were falling behind on financial management also mentally affected millennials, with 25 per cent of Singaporean respondents saying they felt stressed, agitated and overwhelmed as a result.

Professor Nick Chater, a behavioural science researcher at Warwick Business School, said that people feeling stressed and overloaded are more prone to avoiding tasks that seem tedious – like financial planning.

“(In) today’s hyper-busy, always-connected world… people are often guilty of avoiding tasks they see as tedious or difficult, which compounds the problems of a 21st century lifestyle,” he added.

The solution proposed to this problem was to use pockets of time spent waiting throughout the day – including commuting, queuing up, and waiting for friends – to complete financial tasks.


Singaporeans spent almost five hours a week waiting, HSBC claimed. This added up to almost nine days a year.

But the bank admitted that people were more likely to use spare time to check social media than manage their finances.

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