Research by the Santander 123 account has revealed that 14 million Brits collectively borrow £3.6 billion a month in order to pay for basic household bills.
Some 17% of people opt for overdrafts, while 15% choose credit cards to find additional funds. Over one million people collectively borrow £2 billion annually from payday lenders.
However, despite all this borrowing, only 32% of Brits regularly shop around for better deals on services such as utilities or telecoms providers.
Reza Attar-Zadeh, banking director at Santander, said: “The fact that only a third of people are regularly looking for ways to reduce their monthly bills is worrying, as there are a number of opportunities to bring these costs down that require very little effort or change.”
How can you easily reduce your monthly bills?
- Pay by direct debit. You should be able to set up a direct debit account with most providers, who will provide you with discounts for doing so
- Compare the market. Spending half an hour a week checking out offerings from providers other than your own could save you hundreds
- If you have an internet, phone and cable service, moving all of your accounts to one provider could save you cash
- Get involved in the ‘voucher culture’: it could chop hundreds off your grocery bills over the year
- Move to a fixed-price energy plan with no exit penalty fees. These are running out fast, so don’t hang around too long
- Unmetered bills take the property’s size into account, so if you have more bedrooms than people in the house you could save money by installing a water meter