Are you feeling more confident about the state of your finances? According to research from Lloyds Bank, you probably are, as the latest Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report has revealed that consumer confidence is continuing to rise.
It appears that the ongoing financial recovery is continuing to filter through into people's wallets, with the overall index reaching a new all-time high of 164 in June, up from the previous record-breaking score of 160 in May. This has been driven by improvements in both current and future financial situations, with the Current Situation index up by five points to 218 and the Future Situation index up by two (to 109).
Breaking these scores down, the survey found that sentiment towards people's personal financial situation rose by five percentage points (pp) to a high of +31%, while the household financial situation score rose by 2pp to +22%. Happily, there was also an increase in the proportion of those with disposable income, up by 2pp to 80% of respondents, arguably driven by a further fall in year-on-year essential spending. The figures show that essential spending commitments fell by 1.2% overall, led by falls in water bills, which are an average of 1.3% lower than this time last year.
Meanwhile, the Future Situation index saw an improvement thanks to the fact that more people now expect to be able to save more and have more discretionary income in six months' time. Furthermore, just under one in five people (19%) think that they will have more money after the same period – are you one of them?
Essentially, this all means that people will hopefully be feeling a bit more confident about their financial affairs, which could ideally translate into more disposable income that can be put into a savings account or splurged on a treat or two. Either way, you still want to make sure your money goes as far as possible, which is why it's so important to be savvy in your saving as well as your spending.
First up, you'll want to compare savings accounts to be sure that you're getting the best rate possible, and be particularly careful if you've got an account that offers a short-term bonus – new rules coming in mean you should be clearly notified when your bonus is set to expire, but it pays to be proactive as well. Then, if you're spending, be on the lookout for vouchers or discount codes to make your money go further, and don't forget to compare gas and electricity tariffs and broadband packages to keep your everyday bills as low as possible.
A bit of careful management will hopefully mean you'll feel the benefits of consumer confidence in your own household budget, and then you can sit back and enjoy the stability of a little extra financial security.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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