Everyone loves a bargain – we Brits maybe more than anybody else. We shop around for the most competitive prices and we know which websites or shops offer the best deals. Our love of a bargain, however, is challenged by our desire to splurge. That is according to new research from BravoVoucher that shows while Brits like to save money, they perhaps enjoy spending it even more.
Saving vs spending habits: what does the research show?
BravoVoucher conducted a study to find out which countries are the savviest when it comes to spending. Each country was assigned an overall score based on its performance in the following areas:
- Household savings
- Household debt
- Purchase consideration
- Overall spending relative to cost of living
- Food spending relative to cost
According to this research, the top 10 countries for savvy shoppers are:
- France: 421 points
- Ireland: 312 points
- Germany: 288 points
- United States: 284 points
- Norway: 211 points
- Belgium: 196 points
- Colombia: 194 points
- Austria: 191 points
- The Netherlands: 177 points
- Russia: 149 points
The UK came in at a dismal 20th position with a score of -227.
According to BravoVoucher, while Brits love to save money, they love to spend even more. The research shows that Brits spend almost as much as they earn, saving just 1% of their disposable income and spending the rest.
That’s a very small amount when compared with a country like Germany, for example, where people save as much as 11% of their disposable income.
Which brands and categories are most popular for savvy online searchers?
While Brits score poorly on overall spending habits, they score quite well when it comes to food. Brits love and know how to get the best value out of food, as revealed by the more than half a million searches for UberEats discounts per month.
The food app is the number one brand in the UK when it comes to savings-related searches, according to BravoVoucher. Argos, Just Eat, Asos and JD complete the list of the top five most searched brands.
Overall, however, the leading shopping category for savings-related Google searches in the UK is fashion, with more than 4 million searches every month.
Brits’ overall love for savings is reflected in the 24 million Google searches for savings they do every month. That’s double the number of searches the Germans do.
But our tendency to splurge remains our undoing. BravoVoucher summarises it pretty well by saying, “Brits want to be savvy consumers, they just have a lot to learn.”
How can I stop spending money and save more?
Worried that your spending habits are spiralling out of control and derailing your saving goals? You are not alone. Here are five practical tips to help you stop overspending.
1. Work out a budget
A budget helps you plan how you will spend your money. A well-planned budget can help you live within your means, regulate your spending and ultimately save money. But simply making a budget isn’t enough. You need to be disciplined and follow it to realise these benefits.
2. Leave your credit card at home
A credit card can be a useful tool in your wallet, but it can also be a major detriment to your finances if you are not careful. Research shows that you are likely to spend more (sometimes as much as 100% more) when using a card rather than cash.
3. Work out how much it might cost you in work time
According to the money-saving website, Money Saving Expert, if you are tempted by an impulse buy, run the numbers to see how long it would take you to earn that money in hours worked.
You may end up deciding that the item is not worth the amount of working time it will take you to recoup what you spend.
4. Sleep on it
If you see something you want to buy, don’t buy it right away. Walk away and sleep on it instead. If you’re shopping online, you can leave it in your shopping cart without checking out. This removes the urge to impulse buy.
After giving yourself some thinking time, you may change your mind or decide to wait until you’ve saved up enough money to afford it.
5. Find alternatives to stress and boredom-shopping
If you’re shopping excessively out of stress or boredom, try to find other ways to relieve the burden. Check out these apps to improve your mental health, for example. Alternatively, you could go out for a walk, run or even take up another hobby like playing a musical instrument.
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