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.