If, like all of us at Yolt, you’re already indulging in the epic warmth of your favourite jumper and a second (or third) mug of cocoa, it goes without saying you’re a fan of the cosy season, too! But, like all parts of the year, winter can take a hefty toll on your bank accounts and credit cards.
In fact, our recent survey with some of the Yolt community found that 43% actually consider winter the most expensive time of the year! So, ahead of turning up the heat – on your home and your Christmas shopping – we decided to look into some of the top money habits to ditch this winter for a money-savvy finish to 2017.
1. Tapping without checking – 48% don’t!
From shopping lines to grabbing the next round on a night out, every extra moment saved can feel like a real godsend, and contactless cards have made a big difference. But it’s worth taking that split second to check before you tap, so you’re not saving time at the expense of your bank balance.
We did a little research of our own into contactless cards, and found that over 48% of people don’t always check before they tap their cards. It may only be payments under £30, but as we always say, every little bit counts, and who wants to pay more for something than they should have? Ditching this money habit could go a long way in maintaining a happy balance across your accounts and credit cards (which you can easily check together with a quick glance of your Yolt account!).
2. Jumping into sales season
Black Friday has exploded here in the UK, and the latest research says we’re set to spend over £3bn on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales alone. Coupled with a month of post-Christmas sales shopping, all of those bargains quickly add up throughout the winter months. We checked-in with money expert, Andy Webb, about sales season, and he had some great insights. Namely, that while the sales can be amazing – especially before and after Christmas – it’s best to plan ahead of time and avoid getting sucked in by fake deals.
“There’s that temptation to buy stuff just for the sake of buying stuff. Black Friday can be a great way to help with Christmas budgeting, but, again, it’s better knowing how much you have and what you’re willing to spend before going in.”
3. Shopping sprees on Payday
If you tend to find yourself indulging in your favourite shops and restaurants right after payday, you’re definitely not alone! Recent research found that, on average, Brits spend nearly 50% of their disposable income within the first 24 hours after payday. Not only are we more likely to go shopping on payday, but eat out at our favourite restaurants, make travel plans, and hit the town for plays, concerts and the cinema. While there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself a bit after a busy month, it’s also the perfect time to put some money aside for your savings, pension, or your budget for the month ahead.
4. Caving-in to convenience – all the time
In today’s busy world, we place more value on convenience than ever before. In fact, a recent study showed that, when given free money, those who spent it on saving time experienced greater and more lasting happiness than those who spent it on a material object! This was especially the case when it came to things like chores or long commutes. And don’t get us wrong - saving time for what really matters is what we’re all about! But before you cough up the cash to save time on everything, it could be worth considering which tasks are really worth paying for. Just taking the time to make your own lunches for work could actually save you £2500 (more than enough for the ease of a late-night Uber ride, a laundry service, or any other convenience you deem the most important). It’s all about the perfect balance!