Time to Reset your Finances after a Sweltering Summer of Spending

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After a summer of record breaking temperatures, new research from
Sainsbury’s Bank has revealed the true cost of summer with UK adults spending
an average of £726(1) to enjoy activities from BBQs to theme parks.

Top costs included going out for drinks (£108), new summer clothes (£96)
and BBQs and picnics (£67). It seems the sunshine made the public make the most
of the longer days with a quarter (25%) going on more day trips and a fifth
(20%) spending more time visiting friends. Furthermore nearly a quarter (22%)
chose to eat out more than usual at restaurants and cafes. 

Holidays still a hit both at home and abroad 

Despite the heatwave, the majority of holidaymakers still travelled abroad
for their summer getaway. Nearly a third (30%) went on a foreign holiday,
adding an average of £585 extra to their summer bill, with family and beach
holidays being the most popular type of break in July and August(2).
However, one in five adults (20%) chose to enjoy a staycation in the UK, spending
an average of £165.

The cost of Childcare

Childcare was another cost to factor into the family budget with nearly a
quarter (23%) having to pay for childcare, such as babysitters or sports and
summer clubs. More than a fifth (21%) took time off work to look after their
kids and almost a third (32%) enlisted the help of family and friends.

Autumn Audit

As summer comes to an end, it seems spending habits change with the
weather. At the start of the autumn, over half (54%) of UK adults are planning
on tightening their belts in the lead up to Christmas. Over two thirds of
shoppers (67%) admit to not having a summer budget, which could have led to
unplanned splurges.

As the weather gets cooler, there are other costs to consider as over a
third (36%) of shoppers are planning to refresh their autumn and winter
wardrobe. Consumers are also considering larger, yearly purchases as more than
a quarter (26%) will be renewing their car insurance and 22% will be booking an
MOT. Plus, more than one in ten (14%) will be taking out annual travel
insurance.  Holiday costs also have to be factored into the autumn for
over half of the population (54%) prefer to get away in September and avoid the
summer rush. (2)

Karen Hogg, Head of Insurance at Sainsbury’s Bank, says: “Autumn
can be a good time to reflect on your finances and get them in order in the
lead up to Christmas. Creating a budget for the remainder of the year is a
great way to ensure you stick to spending what you can afford and save up in
time for Christmas.

“Our research shows many consumers already have purchases on the horizon,
such as insurance renewals, and by purchasing products such as home or car
insurance from Sainsbury’s Bank you can earn additional Nectar points.”

By taking advantage of Sainsbury’s Bank’s Nectar offers(3) on
insurance, you can double and even triple Nectar points on Sainsbury’s shopping
which can help to maximise any returns from your spending in the lead up to
Christmas, which for many is the pinnacle of the yearly spending peak. Once Christmas
arrives you can then redeem your rewards in the most appropriate way such as
money off your food shop to help stock the fridge for Santa’s arrival or
cashing in your points for presents at stores such as Argos.

Sainsbury’s Bank provides some top tips for giving your finances an
overhaul this Autumn:

  • Review your bills and contracts: Many of us stick with the same
    contracts for our phones, utilities and insurance providers just because
    it’s easy. By taking the time to look at what else is on offer, you might
    be surprised to see how other companies stack up – especially if you’ve
    been with your provider for a long time. Take a moment this month to
    compare competitor offers and don’t be scared to switch for a saving, or
    to ask your current provider what else they can offer.
  • Clearing clutter & making a few pounds: Undertake an autumn clean and
    boost your finances at the same time. You’ll be surprised how much you’ve
    accumulated over the past year or two. Go through your wardrobe, pull
    those unworn clothes or unused gifts out and sell them easily via a whole
    host of online auction or buy and sell sites.
  • Plan ahead: If you’re planning family days out over the October
    half term or even Christmas, look out for vouchers and discount codes.
    Taking advantage of family tickets or two-for-one offers can make sure
    you’re not feeling the pinch when spending quality time with your loved
    ones. Don’t forget to check your rewards points balance on loyalty and
    charge or credit cards. You might have enough to redeem against some
    family treats.
  • Review your weekly shopping bill: Sit down with your last few
    shopping receipts to find out where you can make small cutbacks. It’s also
    good to look at what you food you throw away on a regular basis. If it
    doesn’t get eaten, stop buying it.
  • Spread out your spending: Consider spreading out major
    purchases over time so you don’t overload yourself – a worthwhile exercise
    is to distinguish the ‘nice to have’ items from the ‘essentials’ and
    prioritise accordingly.