How often do you splurge on everyday indulgences? Chances are, quite a lot – and you may not even realise you're doing it. Those seemingly innocent snacks, coffees and takeaways may barely register on your daily bank balance but they could soon add up over the year, so resisting temptation could save you a small fortune.
Well, according to research from online savings provider GE Capital Direct, our discretionary spending habits mean we're missing out on an average of £2,600 every single year! Sound unrealistic? It probably isn't. The survey found that daily snacks and special offers are some of the biggest culprits for unconscious spending, with 85% of those surveyed admitting that they regularly give in to the temptation of having a mid-afternoon treat, while 84% find it hard to resist 3-for-2 offers.
A further 54% admit to regularly eating out and 53% order frequent takeaways – habits that can cost £740 a year. Splurging on new clothes and accessories can add up to £514 per year, entertainment can rack up a bill of £333.10, and even bottled water can cost £134.80 when you tot up the annual amount. And what about those takeaway coffees? Even if it isn't a daily habit, you're still spending an average of almost £200 per year. It soon adds up!
Taken together, the survey found that the top 10 things we unconsciously spend on can rack up to an annual bill of £2,598.84. It's easily done – 29% of respondents blame the ease of automated contactless payments or direct debits for their levels of unconscious spending – and it can't be denied that splurging on treats can be enjoyable, with 39% saying that spending money makes them happy. But, just think of all that money you could save if you resisted the urge to spend.
"It's easy to get into the habit of spending money rather than saving money – especially when it involves seemingly small and insignificant purchases," said Sheragh Beirne of GE Capital UK. "The occasional afternoon treat and the special offers in your shopping basket can add up without you realising.
"[But] saving is much easier than many people think. Tablets and smartphones have given us the freedom to save on the go, so resisting the short-term temptations and saving those pounds regularly can help to build a bigger savings pot for your longer-term goals."
So, is it time you started to become a more conscious spender? The next time you're tempted to buy a coffee, for example, think of how much it costs over the year. Instead of giving in to temptation, put those few pounds in a savings account – if you get into the habit of saving rather than spending on life's little luxuries, you could amass a decent amount over the year. And, if you find an account that offers a top rate, you could benefit even more! Check out our best buys to find an account that could be a far better home for your money.
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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