UK Finance Skills Need a Boost But You Can Still Make Savings

Financial understanding and cash-handling savvy help protect Britons from unhealthy monetary conditions. Unfortunately, recent polling indicates many Englanders lack fundamental financial proficiency.

It’s never too late to learn about economics, budgeting, and finance, so there’s no sense dwelling on your shortcomings. Instead, resolve to build better understanding, reinforcing your financial savvy. For results you can bank on for a lifetime, start by shoring up your knowledge about broad economic concepts. And when you’ve mastered “big picture” basics, turn your attention to specific money saving strategies, aimed at reducing your household expenses.

Britons Face Finance Shortcomings

A recent survey polled 2000 UK adults, seeking information about their finance habits and perspectives. The results highlight surprising notions held by many of the survey participants. For example, one-third of the people polled admitted that they’d never considered cutting back on their personal spending, in order to set by more savings. Even as the country languishes under a sizable blanket of personal debt, it appears spending remains more important to many British consumers than saving money for the future. In fact, approximately 20 per cent of respondents identified themselves as “spenders”, rather than “savers”.

Nearly 10 per cent of survey participants indicated they prefer spending their earnings straightaway, as opposed to building a proper nest egg. Respondents tendency toward unrestrained spending – spending “blindly” to some observers, could lead to financial problems for undisciplined Brits. Responding to the survey results, a spokesman for PiggyBank, the firm responsible for contracting the research, underscored the importance of managing outgoings.

Among survey participants committed to putting by savings, nearly half have done so to build financial reserves, which are used to address emergency spending. Other popular reasons for building reserves include house renovations, buying a car, and saving for a house deposit.
In all, more than 60 per cent of those polled indicated they ultimately spend most of what’s put aside, and more than a quarter of survey participants admitted putting by nothing at all, during some months. Though more than 60 per cent of respondents identified savings accounts as their preferred method for stashing cash, 2 in 5 admitted never having had a savings account.

3 Easy Ways to Save Money

Basic finance skills are helpful, working out your budget, but you don’t need expert-level insight to save money. The following easy approaches can help you reduce spending and keep more money in the bank.

Turn to Tinned Food – The cost of fresh food continues to climb, so budget-conscious Britons are finding reliable ways to save at the supermarket. One trending spending shift is a return to once-popular tinned foods, which appear to be making a comeback. Sales are rising in most canned categories, including tinned fish, vegetables, soups, and others. During the past 12 months, tinned food sales have grown by nearly 3 per cent, as Britons return to familiar favorites, in an effort to save money. Shoppers are aware buying bulk cuts food costs, so they appear to be embracing tinned alternatives, which are less expensive and have a better shelf life than fresh foods.

Take up Couponing – Consumer environments are competitive, so sellers offer incentives to lure business and retain their best customers. Taking a proactive approach about discounts can help you uncover maximum savings on many of the things you buy. From supermarket coupons to discounts at restaurants, dedicating yourself to bargain hunting can yield tremendous savings. For immediate spending relief, share your contact information with your favorite sellers and sign-up for store cards at your favorite retail outlets.

Reduce Your Debt Load – Interest on personal debt can grow to become a substantial monthly burden. If you carry more debt than you’d like to, or outstanding obligations are held in high-interest accounts, it may be time to realign what’s owed. Consolidation loans and other types of personal financing can be used to address multiple debts, under a single repayment umbrella. In many cases, it’s possible to lower the amount of interest paid to lenders and credit card companies, by moving balances to a more cost-effective financial vehicle.

Ten per cent of Britons surveyed recently admitted their financial skills are poor. If you’re among those with limited financial understanding, it’s never too late to reinforce your personal finance skills. As you improve your understanding, use simple, proven tactics to make savings along the way.

Paul graduated in 2001 with a degree in Finance. Since then he has gone on to work for several of the UK's most well-known financial institutions.

An avid blogger and a huge football fan, Paul is here to guide you through the ins and outs of personal finance and perhaps save you some money in the process!

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