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MSE Poll: How much time does your personal admin take?

Former_MSE_Naomi Former MSE Posts: 519
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Poll started 7 May 2019
We all have to do it – deal with bills, bank online, book travel and holidays, file letters and receipts, collect vouchers, sort out problems with the home, cope with tax credits and benefits, manage kids' school requests and more.

How much time do you spend in a TYPICAL WEEK on personal admin (excluding cleaning your home/gardening)? If you don't do it by the week but save it up, then proportion it as if per week.
Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below.

If you haven't already, join the forum to reply.

Thanks! :)


  • GreenQueen
    GreenQueen Forumite Posts: 539
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Photogenic
    put 30 minutes to an hour (woman with family/dependent children), however it can be difficult to tell, as I have to handle e.g. text from DD asking me to put credit on her school lunch balance, Electricity company asking for a meter reading, etc. I deal with those immediately, taking 5 minutes or so. Those sort of things add up on top of my couple of hours per month for the big stuff like paying bills, moving money around in the bank account.
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  • jackieblack
    jackieblack Forumite Posts: 10,222
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 7 May 2019 at 4:37PM
    I put 30-60 mins, however this doesn’t include holiday planning - I love researching and planning my trips and if I’m not planning for an imminent trip am researching for potential future trips, I spend many hours doing this, particularly during the long winter months, it’s not ‘personal admin’, it’s a hobby! :o
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  • jenniewb
    jenniewb Forumite Posts: 12,832
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    Wow! I wish I could complete everything in a half an hour slot! I spend that time on hold trying to rectify issues which seem to come as a result of trying to rectify other issues...admin is a headache! You start trying to deal with one problem and end up with 5 more things to chase as a result!

    This Saturday for example I needed to return something faulty to Amazon (ironically a time saving device) I needed to print out a label...but the PC wouldn't recognise a printer, I wasn't sure what to do and the phoned customer support line is only M-F 9-5pm so it means my reading the forums to try to understand what has gone wrong. It seems the best way out of this is to reset it and reinstall the software and find the cable and reattach so I can reset the the time I'd done all that it was an hour and 20 mins later and then I find out the ink has run I go out shopping later that evening to pick up ink and it turns out the store is out of stock and it would mean ordering in and recollecting another far we are at two hours of time devoted to admin. I need to get this parcel back to Amazon though so go to my local post office to print and it turns out my library card needs to be updated to use and requires me to bring in a picture and no I can't print today. I need a picture but I can't print one! grrrr! So far down 3 hours.

    I could go on here- this is just a typical Saturday devoted to admin. No it doesn't get any better if I pick another day to do my admin. This example is a fairly benign and normal one, but try getting through to a health care team when you need them or have damage caused by a neighbours bath, it gets worse.

    How anyone gets away with less than 30 mins is beyond me. I wish!
  • amycool
    amycool Forumite Posts: 866
    Eighth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Sorting out my prescriptions takes up an inordinate amount of time every month. Aside from that (and arranging hospital appointments) I quite like the financial admin!
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  • Saibal
    Saibal Forumite Posts: 9 Forumite
    I routinely spend 3-4 hours daily on admin. I’m a 50 year-old single man with no dependants. I’m extremely efficient and have to be because there’s always so much to do, so the time taken is certainly no reflection on that or a suggestion that I dawdle. Even when on a day off or on holiday it’s the same all year round. This counts doing my emails, work and personal reading and study, bills and other household paperwork, telephone calls sorting out problems with various companies....I could go on. However, I wouldn’t necessarily include holiday planning as that is more of a leisure activity, plus I haven’t had a proper holiday for 3-4 years due to family circumstances. That amounts to a good 28-30 hours a week, which is about the same time as I spend st the office.

    I’m surprised therefore to find I’m in the minority here. My mum asks me what everybody else does when she sees me busy all the time and constantly chasing my tail :my only explanation so far is that I’m meticulous, prompt and never leave anything undone—that includes returning calls, messages and making sure I stick to promises and commitments I’ve made to other people; I know for a fact the majority have a more relaxed attitude to their responsibilities in my experience.
  • Paul_DNAP
    Paul_DNAP Forumite Posts: 751
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Photogenic Rampant Recycler
    Don't seem to spend a lot of time on admin, not on a regular basis, just check my bank account now and then and read my credit card statement, pretty much all other bills are on direct debit. My power contract is up soon, so I may spend time looking for an alternate.
    (Although I could be wrong, I often am.)
  • Murphybear
    Murphybear Forumite Posts: 7,106
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    amycool wrote: »
    Sorting out my prescriptions takes up an inordinate amount of time every month. Aside from that (and arranging hospital appointments) I quite like the financial admin!

    Do your prescriptions change a lot? I have 9 different items and order them online via the surgery. Logging in then ticking each item takes 45 seconds. They are delivered by the pharmacy.
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