On the personal finance front, things are becoming very restricted for many Brits. Trying to save while at the same time paying the bills and attempting to enjoy one’s life are not easily done. Consumers are faced with some difficult choices when it comes to prioritizing the expenses on which they must spend their take-home pay and these issues should continue through 2011.
One way to reduce spending is to become an online customer for heating and hot water services. The company uSwitch.com found that offline customers pay £140 more per year than do online customers. On average, a household energy bill runs £1,239 annually but online customers pay only £1,010. Only 13 percent of heating and hot water customers are enrolled in an online energy plan.
Skipton, a building society, found that one-third of Brits are not able to afford saving money each month. Nearly a quarter of Brits said that they do not have any savings, while over half are saving under £100 monthly. Londoners rank as more effective savers than residents of the North East or South East.
According to the AA, one-fifth of Brits will give up their overseas holiday in 2011 so they can save money. One-half will still go but will save money by not purchasing travel insurance or other non-mandatory purchases. AA Financial Services Director Mark Huggins stated that the family holiday is commonly the first spending cut for families on tight budgets.
Which? Money found that nearly nine out of the ten British savings accounts available six years ago currently pay an interest rate of 0.5 percent or lower. If a saver has not switched accounts, the real value of the savings is likely shrinking. These low rates are causing Brits to lose £12 billion annually, or £322 average yearly for each person with a savings or cash Isa account.