Financial profligacy is linked to other impulsive behaviours like overeating, smoking and infidelity, according to a new study.
The study, conducted through the BBC website with over 40,000 participants, measured people's financial impulsiveness by asking whether they would they prefer to
receive 45 pounds in three days or 70 pounds in three months.
The survey asked a related series of questions about other behaviours. Nearly half of those who responded preferred the smaller-sooner sum of money, and these people were more likely to show a raft of other impulsive behaviours.
Stian Reimers, of the University College of London (UCL), said: "One of the big questions about people's financial planning is whether decisions to spend or save come from personal knowledge and experience of money matters or whether they reflect someone's personality.
"Our research shows that people with an impulsive money-today attitude ignore the future in other ways. For example, they are more likely to smoke and more likely to be overweight, which may reflect a preference for immediate pleasure of nicotine."
"People who chose to take the smaller-sooner amount of money were also more likely to admit to having had an affair in recent years, suggesting another manifestation of desire for immediate gratification," says Reimers.
The study controlled for age, education and income, and found that those most likely to make impulsive financial choices were young, poorly educated, and on lower incomes, says an UCL release.
These findings were published in Personality and Individual Differences.