Energy providers, banks and insurers can expect a bumper January as consumers are set to flock in search of savings, according to comparethemarket.com. A survey of around 2000 consumers found that 44% are expected to ‘sort out’ their finances at the beginning of January, whilst 41% of respondents tend to feel poorer in the period after Christmas which seems to act as the starting gun for the season of saving.
Enquiries on comparethemarket.com are set to spike on the first Monday of the year, or what is now known as ‘Quote Monday’, as many look to save cash following the financial squeeze of Christmas. comparethemarket.com is set to experience a 50% increase in quotes on the first working day back of the New Year.
The biggest beneficiaries of Quote Monday and the expected increase in activity are likely to be banks that offer savings products as well as those offering a reduction on household bills, i.e. energy providers and insurers. Looking forward, 34% of respondents said that putting money aside for savings was one of their financial goals for 2016. Another 26% said that saving money on bills and cutting down on household expenses was something that they wanted to achieve in the coming year.
This comes as 53% of respondents reported a feeling of negativity at the start of the New Year, after the festive season. Of those respondents, 21% reported feeling gloomy, 14% broke, 10% overweight and 8% exhausted. Only 28% described feeling positive in the New Year. 17% felt optimistic, 9% felt relaxed and only 2% said that they came back from the Christmas break feeling invigorated, showing how stressful the modern Christmas can be.
After the fiscal strain of Christmas, it seems many consumers want to hit the ground running with their finances at the turn of the year. Compared with the relatively decadent period in the lead up to Christmas, in which 69% of consumers have to dip in to their savings or go into some sort of debt to finance festivities, the period after is used by many to bring their finances back into order. This is expected to kick off with ‘Quote Monday’, 4th January.
Simon McCulloch, Head of Insurance, comparethemarket.com, said: “With Christmas behind us many will be retrospectively looking with an element of despair after splashing cash on presents, food and decorations. Our survey results indicate that many consumers will look to become savvier with their finances. It seems that Quote Monday is becoming to savers what Black Friday is to spenders.
“This will be welcome news for energy, insurance and savings providers as reducing household builds and increasing savings were identified as key financial goals for the coming year. Furthermore, household bills were identified as the number one expenditure that consumers wanted to cut down on. With great deals on the market, it is now essential that consumers don’t rush into a policy that does not work for them but they must shop around for the right deal.”
The Institute of Inertia suggests the following money saving tips for the New Year:
Use and reuse - Make January a ‘using up’ month where you use up all the food in cupboards and freezer and only buy perishables to go with the tins and packs that you already have. Do the same in the bathroom - use up all the shampoos, creams and oils that are already opened before buying anything new. See what else in the house you can re-use: old Christmas cards for shopping lists, old clothes as dusters and more.
Make the most of the sales - If you’re not totally in debt after Christmas, the January sales can be a good time to pick up gadgets or clothes you’ve been wanting for a while. Also use this time to pick up half price seasonal goodies for next Christmas. Just make sure you don’t buy things on credit that you can’t pay back. You will lose the savings in interest payments.
Cut your heating costs - apart from switching your energy supplier, you can also save money by doing simple things like putting tin foil behind your radiators, plugging gaps around windows with cheap sponge strips and even wearing warmer clothes indoors and putting the heating down by one degree (it’s supposed to be healthier anyway).
Sell, sell, sell - Need some cash now? Get your unwanted presents and sell them for cash on eBay, eBid or Ziffit. While you’re at it, clear out a few cupboards and drawers and add old items you no longer want to the list. Books can be sold on Amazon or Greenmetropolis.co.uk.
Live for free - there’s loads you can get for free if you look. Join a mystery shopping agency to get free trips to restaurants and bars in return for your reviews. Make the most of all free events in your area - check your local Council’s website to find what they’re offering and also look at the ‘free events’ websites that cover your town (there are lots on the web). Do a swap shop with friends where you swap clothes, accessories and even gadgets (and probably unwanted Christmas presents!).
All data based on a survey of 2,017 adults under by YouGov as commissioned by comparethemarket.com
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