Brits are being more and more cautious with their money, with some resorting to extreme measures, according to a survey commissioned by Aviva.
Nearly three quarters of us have revised our spending in the last 12 months, with a third setting up a direct debit to put something away each month, according to the research. The typical saver sets aside £144 each month, and many people are adopting cunning saving strategies.
Common money saving techniques included driving slowly to save on petrol - a method adopted by over a quarter of people surveyed - only heating one room and saving wrapping paper from presents. Others said that they park further away from shops to avoid heavy parking charges, and 25% said that they re-use old cereal boxes and jam jars.
Unsurprisingly, 56% said that they get a “buzz” from finding a good money saving deal, but some appear to have taken this to extremes. The survey found that 17% of people have refused to contribute to a colleague’s birthday fund, 1 in 10 have returned clothes that they have already worn, and a shocking 13% admit to sneaking a bottle of wine into a pub or theatre to avoid buying expensive drinks.
Tim Orton, product director of Aviva Pensions and Investments, said:
“What this research shows us is that many people are already making smart moves to cut their monthly expenditure, and this can only be seen as a good thing, especially if they are saving or investing this ‘extra' money elsewhere.
“What's really important is that people have access to the best information, through product provider and financial advisers, to make the most of this money.”
The research also found that 8 out of 10 people believe that if people were better at watching their pennies they wouldn't be in such a financial mess, with 36% saying they are happy to be called a penny-pincher. Twenty-eight percent said they were frequently called “tight” by their friends and family, but 35% of those said that they don’t take it seriously.
In the current climate, being “tight” can make a substantial difference to people’s finances now and in the future. Orton continued:
“Whatever their ultimate goals, we want people to get into the habit of saving something, however small, now so that they can look after their family in the future or enjoy a comfortable retirement.”