It might seem hard to believe, but one of the most expensive times of the year is fast approaching. From Black Friday to Christmas (and the New Year shortly after), getting our money habits into tip-top shape is more important than ever.
But while lots of focus is placed on the bad money habits we do too often, it’s also worth considering the positive money habits we tend to overlook.
With that in mind, we decided to explore some of the best money habits to adopt this year and see just how much you could save by taking action.
1. Switching your energy provider could save you £200
The crisp air and spike in jumpers across the UK can only mean one thing: autumn is here and winter’s on the way! But before you reach for the thermostat, it might be worth shopping around for a better energy deal. We decided to look into the myths and benefits of switching energy providers and conduct a bit of research of our own around this quick-fix money habit.
Out of 2000 respondents, we were surprised to find that over 43% hadn’t switched energy suppliers in over 3 years.
Even more surprising was the belief that switching suppliers wouldn’t save you any money – nearly a fifth named it as the main reason they’d stuck with their current supplier for so long. Others said it was either too difficult or too time-consuming.
The happy reality is that switching energy providers has never been easier - in fact, you can easily compare and switch energy providers with Yolt via our partner, MoneySuperMarket.
And, according to the latest research from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, you could make a quick £200 on average by adopting this simple money habit.
2. Starting a pension plan now could save you (hundreds of) thousands
OK, we know pensions aren’t the most exciting of topics, but with the latest changes to the state pension age, putting aside money for the future is more relevant than ever. And for millennials, there’s really no time like the present. Thanks to a combination of employer matches, tax relief, and compound interest, the earlier you start, the more you can save. This free savings calculator can help you estimate just what you can expect to save based on monthly savings, interest, and your projected age of retirement.
3. Paying your bills on time could save your credit score
We’ve all been there – things pile up and you miss that looming credit card payment. If you've missed a few, it may seem tough to get on track, but adopting a healthy habit of paying your bills upfront could save you a lot of money. A 2016 study by the Co-operative Bank found that Brits spent an additional £1.2 billion a year in interest for late credit card payments alone. When paired with the fact that payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score, it's clear that paying your bills on time not only saves you money, but could save your credit.
All of this may seem daunting, but bright news from the ONS shows that Brits are actually finding it easier than ever to pay bills on time. With direct debit payment options, budgeting tools and in-app payment trackers, there are tonnes of great resources to help stay on top of bills and avoid those painful interest rates.
4. Cancelling subscriptions you don’t use could save you £223
Cue that Netflix playlist, sit back, and relax. . . But don’t forget about all your other subscriptions. Memberships and other recurring payments make up a huge part of our leisure budgets every month, and the latest research from Top Cashback found that, on average, we spend £18.60 every month on subscriptions we don’t even use. That’s an average of £223 per year.
Why? We simply forget we’ve even signed up. A quick glance at your phone may be all you need to track down any forgotten subscriptions and adopt this positive money habit for good. And for the record, you can easily track your various subscriptions together with Yolt.
These are just a few of our favourite positive money habits to adopt in time for the festive season. If you have any money habits of your own, join the conversation by tweeting about it at @getyolt.