UK adults are adopting a string of clever ways to stave off the cost-of-living crisis, including cutting their own hair, making sure lights are off – and even shopping at specific times to grab supermarket ‘yellow sticker’ bargains.
A poll of 2,000 adults revealed the top 30 ways the nation is looking after the pennies – with many ditching household names in favour of own-brand products, and the most popular being to turn the heating down. Others take lunch into work, use a clothesline instead of a tumble dryer and buy second class stamps instead of first.
In fact, 89 per cent claim they will ‘go out of their way’ to curb their spending, while 56 per cent will ‘use their old smartphone long past their contract’ to save money with sim-only plans.
January emerged as the month Britons feel they need to stretch their money further – as six in 10 admit to overdoing it on Christmas presents.
While one quarter will go over the top early in the January sales - and feel the pinch for the rest of the month.
A spokesperson for SMARTY, the sim-only mobile network provider, which commissioned the poll, said: “Over time lots of small changes add up to a big difference when it comes to spending habits – and it is no surprise this time of year is when many are tightening the purse strings.
“We can all be guilty of overdoing it in the build up to Christmas, so the beginning of the year feels like a great time to take stock and plan our expenses for the year ahead - that’s why we make it as easy as possible with our simple and honest SIM plans.”
The survey found more than one third have a financial ‘spring clean’ at least once a year to ensure their finances are in order and unused subscriptions are no longer active.
However, 41 per cent admit to forgetting to cancel a membership or a subscription, and one in five of these have left this running for up to three months without using the service.
To ensure their money stretches further, nearly half will spend the most time researching car insurance deals to save some cash – while three in 10 will devote a significant amount of time to seeking the best mobile phone deals.
Almost three in five will avoid being tied down to long term subscriptions and contracts as they enjoy having the flexibility to shop around regularly for a better deal.
And more than one quarter even admit to occasionally haggling for the best deal possible to help scrimp and save, the research conducted via OnePoll found.
Britons ranked the latest smartphones as the number one item which is too expensive nowadays – however, many did concede mobile phone plans would be one of the major expenses they would not be able to live without.
Although, one in 10 also claimed they would find it difficult to sacrifice their gym membership. Household repairs and replacements ranked as the most common barrier people face when it comes to saving as much money as they would like – while one in five struggle to put cash away following a new addition to their family.
Overall, 51 per cent feel it is now more acceptable to shop around and be clever with spending, rather than to splash the cash on luxury items.
The spokesperson for SMARTY continued: “This research really highlights the importance we now put on shopping around for the best deal – it shows the customer holds the power and will not stick around if the deal is no good.”