27 November 2017, 09:00

What a waste! People fritter away £590 a year

New research reveals that £30bn is wasted each year on uneaten food, clothes that are never worn, household bills and bundled TV/broadband deals

As a Nation, we’re wasting £30.5bn* a year on stuff we don’t need, don’t use or are too busy to sort out, according to new research** commissioned by GoCompare Money

Almost three quarters (73%) of us admit to wasting money, with unworn clothes, getting stung by avoidable fees and paying over the odds for services and insurance among the everyday things people say they waste their hard-earned cash on. 

On average, UK adults estimate that £49.20 of their monthly spending is wasted - £590.40 a year.

The research highlighted that much of the money people fritter away goes on food and beverages - buying more expensive but convenient, ready-prepared or takeout meals and drinks, or simply overbuying groceries which they end up ditching.

Rank

20 common money wasters

%

1

Overbuying food that doesn’t get used/throwing away left-overs

23

2

Buying clothes which are never worn

20

3

Overpaying for bundled TV/phone/cable services

19

4

Buying too many takeaway meals

16

5

Paying for lunch and snacks at work

15

6

Drinking bottled water instead of tap water

15

7

Buying brand named items rather than generic goods

14

8

Drinking takeaway coffee

13

9

Not shopping around for the cheapest gas and electricity tariff

13

10

Buying cigarettes and tobacco

13

11

Spending too much down the pub/in clubs

12

12

Eating too many ready meals

12

13

Shopping in expensive supermarkets and convenience stores

11

14

Buying pre-sliced/grated food

11

15

Paying avoidable credit card interest

11

16

Paying avoidable bank charges or overdraft fees

10

17

Paying avoidable annual credit card fees 

6

18

Exceeding limits for mobile phone calls and/or data usage

6

19

Buying vitamins and other supplements 

6

20

Not looking for a good deal on home insurance

5

 

Another key area of unnecessary expenditure people identified was overpaying for goods and services which they do use but fail to hunt around for the best prices for.  Bundled TV, phone and cable services were the top culprit in this category, which also included paying too much for utility bills and home insurance. 

Service providers and insurers operate in a competitive market, typically attracting new customers with better deals than they offer to loyal customers - who can find themselves paying well over the odds for the same package.       

Commenting on the research, Georgie Frost, head of consumer affairs at GoCompare said, “The research highlights just how quickly a few pounds of unnecessary spending here and there can really add up to a serious amount of cash. This should be a real wake-up call for the almost three quarters of us who confess to simply throwing money away, as who wouldn’t love a bit of extra cash in their pocket each month?  

“Fortunately, a lot of the things identified are fairly easy to tackle. If you enjoy your morning coffee from the cafe, or going to the pub with friends then there's nothing wrong with it, but buying food you just chuck away or clothes you never wear is just a waste! So, try and take a few minutes to think about some of your everyday bad habits and make a quick list of five or six things that you could address straight away. Add up how much that could save you each month and that should encourage you to tackle a few more. Starting small can make a real difference.”         

For more information on a range of different money matters, visit http://www.gocompare.com/money/.

 

-Ends-

For further information please contact:

Anders Nilsson or Martyn John at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 654 725

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

*Source: ONS June 2017 - Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  Source for UK adults 18 and over = 51,767,543 in June 2017. 

Average annual amount of wasted spending: £590.40. 51,767,543 x £590.40 = £ 30,563,557,387.20 (rounded to £30.5bn).

**On 10 October 2017, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,000 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About GoCompare

GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. Gocompare.com makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

GoCompare does not sell its customers’ data.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

For more information visit www.gocompare.com and www.gocomparegroup.com

Contact Information

Martyn John

PR & Social Media Manager

01633 654725

Martyn.John@Gocompare.com