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2018 seems to be a year of financial change, as the majority of bank account holders say they're making some adjustments to their spending. Specifically, 60% say they've already changed their eating and going out habits, while 54% claim to have made changes to their purchasing habits.
This is according to research conducted on behalf of Lloyds Bank, which found that 34% of those surveyed claim to have reduced spending on clothes and personal care items, while 20% have turned to voucher and discount sites to cut costs. As a result, people say they've managed to reduce their spending by an average of £21.53 per week since the start of the year.
Part of the reason for these behaviour changes may be the state of the economy, as pessimism was up by 8% year-on-year in January with regards to the UK housing market and by 13% for inflation. In line with this, only 22% think they will have more money in six months' time, and 40% of this group are planning to use the extra cash to pay off existing debt.
Regardless of whether they think they'll have more money or not, 74% seem to be most interested in saving for a rainy day, rather than spending. This is despite Lloyds' own customer figures showing that the cost of essential goods has gone up, with essential spending 3% higher in December compared to a year earlier.
It seems that 18-34 year-olds are more likely to cut back on spending, with 27% using voucher and discount websites more this year, compared with 17% of those aged 35 and over. Additionally, 33% of 25-34 year-olds have been shunning restaurants more, with only 25% of those aged 35+ doing the same.
"It is clear that many young people are concerned about the pressure on their finances in 2018 and are looking at ways to reduce their outgoings," said Robin Bulloch, managing director of Lloyds Bank. "36% of 18-34 year olds are worried about making ends meet, so it is encouraging to see that our survey shows young people are making a real effort to watch what they spend."
To make the most of any extra money you're saving, consider putting it in a top savings account, such as an easy access account for emergency funds, or a regular saver if you want to put something aside every month.
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