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We Brits Need to be More Financially Agile

We Brits need to be more financially agile

18th October 2015

How our survey into financial apathy is causing a stir amongst consumers.

Our research into the UK’s financial habits sparked a great deal of interest from the financial and national press. Could we Brits really be losing £’000s each year because of our reluctance to shop around for better deals?

Alvin Hall, the renowned independent financial educator, agreed with us. The nation’s attitude to savings is a “set-and-forget” one. We find a savings account, mortgage, mobile contract, cash ISA or energy supplier – and we stick with it. In fact, better deals are almost certainly to be found elsewhere and switching regularly ensures we take advantage of new deals and offers. 

Don’t be afraid to switch.
Almost half of us with pensions have never changed provider, and a fifth of us have never changed banks. 

50% of us have cash ISAs, but 40% of us monitor our interest rates fewer than once a year. The difference between a rate of 1.51% and 0.1% would reduce the interest earned on the average UK household saving of £16,400 from £247.61 per year to £16.40. 

The Daily Mail said that we are “keen to bang the drum of P2P lending”, and for good reason. Put £1,640 (about 10% of the average household’s savings) into a P2P investment product aiming to make a 5.5% annual return, and put the other 90% in a competitive cash ISA, and it could potentially make £3,299 in interest over 10 years. 

If we don’t become more financially agile, we will continue to miss out on thousands of pounds each year. As a nation we need to pay more attention to our money. 

Shopping around the best deals
However, some commenters, as is usual, stand firmly against the call to arms. “We shouldn’t HAVE to shop around for the best deals”, as one put it. That would be nice, certainly, and sites like Money Savings Expert, Money Supermarket, uSwitch (and many others) do a great job of taking the grunt work out of researching and comparing deals, and are a good place to start. 

Even with a small investment of time and effort, there are substantial savings to be had. Read the article in the Mail Online