How savvy are you when it comes to your spending habits? After experiencing years of low wage growth and high price inflation, it’s perhaps no surprise that we’ve all been forced to moderate our spending habits.
New research shows that 63% of UK consumers have undertaken some form of ‘savvy spending’ since the start of the year.
This is according to the latest Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report, which reviewed the spending behaviour of 2,000 bank account holders.
The study also found that 47% of us have actively looked for voucher and discount codes before spending money. Nearly a quarter of UK consumers have joined a mailing list in order to get access to exclusive deals and discounts.
There’s a perception that women tend to make savvier spending choices than men, which was proven in this study. The researchers found that 72% of women claim to have used ways to save money since the start of 2018, compared with 54% of men.
Robin Bulloch, Managing Director of Lloyds Bank, said:
“Our research shows that 63% of UK consumers are taking advantage of the different ways you can save on your spending. Switching providers has been made easier than ever, and it is encouraging to see that some consumers are actively looking for the best offers and making great savings. However, it remains the case that more people could benefit from shopping around.”
If your own spending habits need a little attention, here are our top tips for becoming a savvier spender:
1 - Create a budget
Budgeting is often seen as the cornerstone of personal financial planning. Without a budget in place, it’s difficult to know whether your spending habits are good, bad or ugly! Setting a family budget and then keeping it under regular review is an important financial discipline, ensuring you can set enough money aside each month to pay for the future.
2 - Lock away your credit cards
Buying things on credit cards is too easy, as it’s spending money you haven’t already earned. Unless you are disciplined enough to pay off your credit card in full each month, before interest charges start to bite, then shopping on a credit card can be a very expensive way to buy things. Getting into the habit of only spending what you’ve already earned- and in fact spending less than you earn - is the hallmark of a savvy spender.
3 - Research online before you spend
The Internet is great for many things, but especially for bargain hunting and getting the best deals before spending money. Always shop around to make sure you are getting the best possible prices. You can even use your smartphone when you out and about on the High Street, to make sure the price you are about to pay is the lowest you can find.
4 - Take advantage of cashback offers
If you’re spending the money anyway, it can make sense to get cashback on that spend. Cashback websites make it easy to get these rewards when you’re shopping online. You still need to check that the amount you are spending, net of any reward from the website, represents the best deal.
5 - Enjoy a ‘no spend’ month
If you really need to reset your spending habits, then a self-enforced ‘no spend’ month could be the answer. Write down a list of rules and follow them for 30 days, to become more mindful about your spending. Perhaps you will agree not to buy anything new for the month, with the exception of food with a set weekly budget. If you feel that your spending is out of control, then a no spend month might be the key to becoming a savvier shopper.