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Revealed: the "money leaks" costing Brits billions

The Momentum UK Team 19 May 2014

People in the UK are wasting an average of £30 a month on under-used subscriptions, overpayments and avoidable fees, according to a recent survey.

In total, we waste £12.2 billion per year on avoidable expenses, according to the results of a survey from Gocompare.com. The survey asked people to estimate how much money they waste every month on “money leaks” - things they don’t use or need.

Topping the list of avoidable money drains was unused discount vouchers, with 18% of people admitting to missing out on valuable savings. Under-used TV or cable subscriptions were another common money drain, with 16% of people paying for channels they don’t watch.

Lifestyle choices were also a factor, with 16% of people admitting to wasting money on cigarettes or tobacco, and an additional 16% splashing out on “too many takeaways”.

Claire Peate, consumer insight manager at Gocompare.com, commented on the findings:

“Many of the top money leaks identified in our survey relate to relatively low value items like take-away meals and drinks or unused discount vouchers. While day-to-day we might not miss the odd £5 spent on a mid-morning cappuccino and muffin - bought regularly over the course of a year these small money leaks can quickly add up to a sizeable sum. Track your spending with MoneyHub

“People participating in our survey estimated that on average they waste £30 a month – which adds up to £360 a year - which goes to prove that the old idiom: ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’ still rings true.”

The survey also found that people may be losing money by failing to keep track of their spending; 13% of people had wasted money on avoidable bank or overdraft fees, with 12% having paid avoidable interest on a credit card.

Claire Peate continued:

“Over time, missing credit card payments or just repaying the minimum amount can be a costly drain on your finances. Typically, credit card providers charge £12 for missed payments and will add interest to your outstanding balance and the longer you take to repay your debt, the more money you will owe as the interest accumulates.”

Momentum