'Small wins' bring January cheer

Published:
18 January 2013
Topic:
News,Money

Never mind the biting weather, more than half (53%) of us Brits feel at an all-time low throughout January because of financial worries, according to our research at MoneySupermarket - which is why we tried to ease the pain by catching some unwitting shoppers off guard with a welcome surprise.

Secret dry cleaning camera

Earlier this month, MoneySupermarket joined forces with a busy London drycleaners, placing £20 notes in the pockets of the various garments they handed over the counter - and then notifying the customers of the find as they turned to leave.

Their reactions were captured on secret in-store cameras - and showed some interesting results.

Three in five (59%) of Brits said that even a small win such as discovering cash in a forgotten coat pocket, would make them feel happier in January, as the month takes its toll on our resilience.

After all, nearly seven in 10 (68%) 18 to 34 year-olds admit to feeling negative throughout January because they are either living for the next payday or they are worried about rising credit card bills.


Northerners suffering financial blues

As well as your age, how concerned about your finances also depends on where you live. Our research shows that those living in Northern Ireland were the most worried about their financial situation with 79% admitting to having troubles.

This is followed by the North East where 62% of people are financially stretched, while 60% of those living in the North West feel as though they are scraping the financial barrel. These figures are well above the national average level of financial concern.

Make your own luck

But the good news, wherever you live and whoever you are, you can make your own luck this January and beyond by saving hundreds of pounds on your own household bills.

Clare Francis, consumer finance expert at MoneySupermarket said: "A great place to start is with your household bills. Most people can save up to £248 by using the internet to compare the cost of their energy bills and doing this should take less than 10 minutes."

She added: "Many spenders relied on their credit card to get them through the Christmas period which was useful at the time but by now that debt will be starting to accumulate on high interest rates. In this case, move the debt to a card that offers 0% on balance transfers and you won't pay a penny in interest."

Drop the expensive habits

Rather than feeling down about the January lull, see the New Year as perfect time to start getting into positive habits, such as saving, instead.

Clare Francis said: "Saving money feels great, so think about ways you can cut back on everyday expenditure. Do you really need to buy that daily coffee on the way to work, or could you make a cup when you arrive?

"Also think about cancelling things like unused gym memberships and subscriptions you no longer use. The small savings all add up and can make you feel really good at the same time."

Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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Ed Towner

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