The study of 1,002 UK consumers conducted in December 2018reveals that over half (56%) are planning or considering cutting their spending this year. Survey respondents expect to save an average of £131 a month – or £1,572 – over 2019. The most popular reason given to cut spending was to keep up with rising living costs.
The survey also revealed how shoppers plan to achieve these savings. Top of the list was cutting back on eating out (35%), ordering takeaway food (33%), and buying new clothes (31%). This was closely followed by buying sweets, crisps, cakes and chocolate (27%), and going to pubs or bars (23%).
Millennials were more serious about saving than older generations. According to the research, almost 80% of 25-34 year olds are planning or considering cutting back their spending in 2019, compared with just 40% of those aged over 65.
London is reported to be the most saving-savvy region (62%) followed by the south-east (47%) and the north-east (47%). Wales has the smallest proportion (32%) of people planning to cut back on their spending.
Paymentsense chief marketing officer Guy Moreve commented: “Although it’s common for people to make positive plans in the New Year, our study reveals that instead of aspirational health or lifestyle goals, many UK consumers are increasingly concerned about just keeping up as living costs climb more quickly than salaries.
“Many of the 70,000 small businesses we work with across the UK understand that shoppers are struggling to balance their monthly budgets at this time of year, and have been adapting with special offers, loyalty schemes and more advanced point of sale techniques.
“Another growing trend is ethical consumption, and over 2018 we saw increased awareness and attention to environmentally-friendly lifestyle habits such as veganism and sustainable fashion. We feel that this coming year will see continued movement in this area, as more people adopt ethical attitudes.
“Small businesses should see this as an opportunity to review different aspects of their offering, and their suppliers to look at what can be improved to tap into this growing consumer sensitivity.”
Top 6 things we’re saving for in 2019:
Keeping up with the cost of living (42%)
Holidays in UK & those that require a flight (42%)
Rising prices because of Brexit (14%)
Decorating or renovating their home (14%)
A new car (11%)
A new house or flat (11%)