When it comes to money matters, we all have certain habits. But some of the things we’re doing – or not doing – could be making us significantly worse off.
Read on to see if you could be making some of these common money mistakes.
1. Bulk buying to save money – only to find you don’t use everything
More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of shoppers are regular bulk-buyers, with toilet paper, baked beans and soap among the popular items to stock up on, research from TopCashback.co.uk has found. But while 86 per cent of bulk-buyers say they stock up in a bid to save cash, nearly one in five admit they don’t end up using all the items they bought – perhaps because they went out of date, or there wasn’t enough room to store them.
2. Not checking cupboards before you go to the shops
More than a quarter (26 per cent) of people say they bulk-buy without checking their supply levels at home first, the TopCashback research also found. This can increase the chances of being wooed by “special offers” you don’t need. Nearly a third (31 per cent) admit to buying items they only think they will need because they are on offer.
3. Opting for a higher excess on car insurance
Comparison website uSwitch.com found the average car insurance quote for drivers opting for a £1,000 voluntary excess is £318 a year – just £12 cheaper than a policy with a £250 voluntary excess. This means someone could end up taking on up to £750 of additional financial liability for a saving of just £1 a month.
4. Using social media for shopping inspiration – only to regret it
Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of social media users have made a purchase as a direct result of something they spotted on somebody’s feed, spending an average of £318 per year, Post Office Money found. Men spend an average of £438 a year, compared with £230 for women. But two-thirds (65 per cent) admit they ended up regretting what they bought, with 37 per cent wishing they’d put the money towards savings.
5. Being a loyal customer
Loyalty doesn’t necessarily pay when it comes to essential services – in fact it could cost nearly £1,000 per year. Research from Citizens Advice found charging loyal customers more than new ones for the same service can often happen with energy, mobile, broadband, home insurance, fixed-rate mortgages and savings accounts. Its analysis suggests customers who stay loyal to their essential service providers could be paying £987 more per year – equivalent to four months’ worth of food for the average household.
6. Always sticking with the familiar when it comes to cash in bank accounts
If you’re looking for somewhere to put your savings cash, competition this year has been particularly strong so far among “challenger” banks, according to website Moneyfacts.co.uk. While some of the newer banks may not be that familiar, you may find you can get a better savings rate. Rachel Springall, a finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, says brands such as ICICI Bank, Paragon Bank, Ford Money and Tesco Bank are among those offering competitive savings deals.