Common sense ‘can save people £844 a year’

Consumers who apply common sense towards their spending habits could be saving an average of £844 a year, according to new research from quoteme…

Consumers who apply common sense towards their spending habits could be saving an average of £844 a year, according to new research from quotemehappy.com.

The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 people, found that those who plan their spending in advance, think ahead and stick to budgets could save a lot of money across the board in many different areas.

Household expenditure is the major outgoing for many people and much of the savings that are listed in the report are taken from this. However, there are plenty of other savings that can be made in leisure and entertainment, as well as services and necessities.

One of the biggest pieces of advice to come from the study was to get a good deal on a mortgage. With homeowners spending as much as a third of their total income on their mortgage, thorough research can save thousands of pounds in the long run showing just how important it is to find a good deal.

Over 12 months common sense consumers typically save around £399 and 74.50 on grocery and clothes shopping respectively. This can largely be done by shopping around or checking the internet for the best prices. Though the savings may appear small they can in fact rack up to become meaningful amounts over a year.

Seven out of ten people cook homemade food rather than buying expensive ready meals, while half of smart shoppers stick to a shopping list at the supermarket, book holidays in advance and shop around for things like insurance.

Transport is another major factor for several people and is often an unavoidable expense. However, the study found those who apply common sense thinking can make average savings of £109 – a very useful amount to any household.

Savvy consumers can also save a massive £243.90 on holidays, £10.50 at the dentist and £6.70 at the cinema.

Telephone, broadband and TV are another area of expenditure that can be reduced by combining all services together, with average savings of £413 a year by doing so, although more than a third of people are not doing this.

Energy bills are another major problem for people and many are in debt to their provider. The report notes that there are several ways to lower bills, such as installing a water meter to measure the amount of water being used. Doing this means individuals are charged for the amount they use rather than a fixed yearly amount, resulting in an average saving of £100.

It is also important to consider the energy tariff currently being used by the household as there are many in the UK who are needlessly paying too much for their gas and electricity.

The findings confirm that the UK is a nation of bargain hunters, with almost three quarters of people getting a sense of wellbeing from shopping around for the best price. 

Sarah Willingham, finance expert and founder of letssavesomemoney.com, said: “Common sense can sound dull – but it’s anything but. This research shows you can get massive payback if you apply common sense to everyday life. 

"A few changes to your behaviour and how you plan your spending can have a huge impact on your bank balance – and your overall wellbeing."

By James Francis

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