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Consumers still cautious when it comes to finances

Consumers still cautious when it comes to finances

Category: Money

Updated: 09/03/2016
First Published: 09/03/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Despite several positive economic indicators – low inflation and wage growth to name just two – it seems that consumers are still cautious when it comes to their finances, with research from Sainsbury's Bank showing that the majority of people feel no better about their finances than they did a year ago, and some of those are even feeling less confident.

Cost of living crisis

The figures show that, despite wages increasing by an average of 2% in the last 12 months and inflation having hovered around record low levels in that time, 47% of respondents feel no better about their finances this year than they did in 2015. A further 26% feel less confident, leaving just 24% who feel more upbeat about the state of their finances.

Overall, 76% admitted to having some financial concerns, with the biggest worry for 26% being the cost of living. This is followed by 13% who cited changes to their family's income as a key concern, while 9% said the biggest issue was not receiving a good enough return on their savings, and 5% were worried about interest rate rises, the cost of housing, and their children's financial future.

Savviness – the key to financial happiness

Financial concerns may be rife, but it doesn't mean that people are accepting their fate – instead, many are being proactive in their fight to cut costs, with savviness being the key to securing financial happiness.

In fact, 20% of respondents said they were looking to move one or more of their borrowing commitments to a better deal (such as a 0% balance transfer credit card), and 65% are planning to switch savings accounts to achieve a higher interest rate. Another 65% intend to shop around to find better quotes for their insurance policies, while 39% are doing the same for gas and electricity, and 37% for their phone and broadband package.

Meanwhile, one in four plan to make more use of reward points and discount vouchers to help make their money go further, which just shows that even the little things can make all the difference. So why not get involved? Whether you want to compare financial products or save a bit of money on your shopping bills, being financially savvy could help ensure your financial concerns are kept to a minimum.

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.