Research carried out for Standard Life suggests that, in the last three years, 5.3 million additional UK adults* have started adopting money saving habits, such as reviewing their utility providers, going online to find the best deals and using online voucher codes to save money. According to Standard Life's 'Financial Efficiency' research, the recent downturn has now encouraged more than nine out of ten (91%) of us to engage in financially efficient behaviours.
But the most popular tactic, adopted by three in five people (57%), is a common sense approach - avoid spending what they don't have and running up a debt on credit and store cards. Around 6.1 million more people are making sure they "don't spend what they don’t have**".
The research also shows that half of the UK (50%) regularly makes sure they shop around for the best prices at places such as the supermarket. Looking at those adults who could recall their habits three years ago in 2009, an increased number have turned to online voucher codes and loyalty cards to save money, and have also started budgeting. A third of people in the UK (30%) now set a weekly or monthly budget; up from only one in five (22%) saying they did so in 2009.
Yet the findings also suggest that in the last three years, there has been no change in the number of people seeking financial advice (8%) and only one in six (17%) is currently planning their finances to make the most of tax breaks from products such as stocks and shares ISAs and pensions.
Commenting, Standard Life's Julie Russell said: "The results show just how well many of us are doing when it comes to setting budgets, shopping around and genuinely looking to get the best out of our money. And it's great to hear that so many more people are determined not to run up card debt.
"Our research also shows that only a few of us are being quite so savvy when it comes to saving. That's perhaps unsurprising in the current climate when the focus for many is on paying down debt and making ends meet. But that’s also why it's so important to make sure we are getting the best returns on anything we are actually able to save. That means using ISAs which are really tax efficient, and not missing out on tax breaks offered by private pension contributions, for example. Efficiently managing whatever we are able to save can make a huge difference to both our weekly budget and our long term plans."
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2054 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd - 27th February 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
*There are 48,478,300 adults in the UK. In 2009, 80% of UK adults (38,782,640) recall adopting financially efficient behaviours. This grew by 11% to 91% in 2012, meaning an additional 5,332,613 people adopted these behaviours.
**Research shows that 44.67% of people recalled focusing on "not spending what they don’t have" in 2009, but 57.31% take this tactic in 2012. That’s a 12.64% difference of 5.8 million people.
About Standard Life
Established in 1825, Standard Life is a leading long term savings and investment company, with around six million customers internationally. By understanding its customers and offering innovative products to meet their needs, Standard Life helps people with their financial planning, so they can feel more confident about the future.
Standard Life provides a range of individual and group pensions, SIPPs, ISAs, annuities, life assurance, offshore bonds, investment management, wealth management, tax planning and estate management services.
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