Bad saving habits stop British consumers from saving for the big Christmas shop

With Christmas just around the corner, a new survey reveals the bad spending habits leaving Brits in the red.

With Christmas just around the corner, a new survey reveals the bad saving habits leaving Brits in the red.

10,000 people in the UK were asked by finance specialist Solution Loans which reckless spending behaviour they were guilty of – and between spontaneous shopping sprees, mounting monthly bills and living beyond our limits, it looks like many of us may struggle to save for the big Christmas shop.

With Brits set to spend a record £42 billion this Christmas, the results of this survey have reveal the key obstacles standing in the way of our seasonal savings – with men having more trouble with monthly bills, while money management issues are leaving women of the UK hard up.

Nearly half (43 per cent) of all Brits surveyed reveal they can’t help making unnecessary impulse purchases, making this the nation’s ultimate bad saving habit.

Purse strings aren’t quite so loose in London, though – under a third of people in the capital admit to making spontaneous shopping decisions, versus a whopping 55 per cent of respondents in the East Midlands.

Bills, bills, bills

When it comes to TV, phone and internet bills, it looks like some Brits are paying over the odds – 24 per cent of participants reveal they’ve failed to negotiate a better deal on their monthly payments.

More than a third (37 per cent) of Scots and a substantial 45 per cent of people in the North East of England admit they’re paying more than they could be each month because they won’t haggle with their monthly providers – compared with only 11 per cent of North West locals.

Monthly subscriptions like Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime are also leaving Brits strapped for cash – as a fifth of Brits confess that they’re wasting money on subscriptions they don’t actually use.

A substantial 40 per cent of North East locals say they pay for unused subscriptions, versus just 17 per cent of people living in Yorkshire.

Living beyond limits

The results of the survey also show many Brits are breaking the bank when their basic income just won’t stretch far enough.

Less than a fifth (17 per cent) of people surveyed reveal they depend on their overdraft every month – with Brits going beyond their means to keep up with monthly expenses.

Surprisingly, almost a quarter of 45-54 year olds admit to being constantly overdrawn – compared to just 16 per cent of Brits aged 25-34.

More than a (13 per cent) of respondents rely on using credit cards to cover everyday purchases, with South East locals being more dependent on plastic than any other region of the UK.

As 18 per cent of 18-24 year olds admitting to regularly exceeding the limits of their contract, phone bills are costing young people in Britain a bundle.

And it looks like age is more than just a number, as less than 10 per cent of voters over the age of 45 say they rack up excess charges each month.

With the Christmas countdown now in full swing, some Brits will need to break the saving habits of a lifetime to avoid a frugal festival season in 2016.

But, on the other side of the coin, it looks like little lifestyle changes could mean big savings for the people of Britain this year.

Amanda Gillam of Solution Loans, says, ‘It’s interesting to see that the survey respondents are aware of their saving habits, yet continue to make the same mistakes. Some sensible changes to the way Brits handle their finances would mean some big savings. And this is all the more pressing given rising inflation on the horizon.’

Further reading on consumer spending

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

Related Topics