Good budget management may boost bargain hunters

Bargain hunting has increased in Britain, but that may not be all people can do to stretch their budgets.

Good budget management is something many consumers will be keen to have in place to enable them to make ends meet more easily, something bargain hunters will appreciate.

In this age of austerity, it may come as little surprise that many people are being more active than they used to be in seeking bargains, or that the sense of happiness at finding one is enhanced.

A survey by Moneysupermarket.com has found such sentiments are commonplace, with 64 per cent of consumers admitting they would go out of their way to secure a bargain.

For 42 per cent, this activity has gone up from five years ago, while for 48 per cent the feeling of grabbing a good deal gives them a significant sense of joy and achievement.

Indeed, for 53 per cent of women the feeling of saving £500 on an item would be better than suddenly finding they had lost weight, while 79 per cent of men would prefer this feeling to that of their favourite sports team winning a big game.

Commenting on this, financial expert at the site Tim Moss said: "Households up and down the country are working hard to make their money stretch further. It isn't surprising we are seeing changes in shopping habits as consumers go the extra mile to expand their bargain hunting territory to make bigger and better savings."

But while finding bargains is one effective way to save cash, good money management will depend on more than that. After all, it is no use saving money on one item only to run up high interest bills or waste cash elsewhere.

A prepaid credit card may be very useful in that sense as it enables people to keep their budgets in line with what they can afford, buy only loading up as much as can easily be managed. This will ensure bargain hunters do not sell themselves short in other ways.

And the need to save money in all sorts of ways – either by finding good deals or not spending frivolously – may never be greater than now.

In a previous survey, Moneysupermarket.com noted 27 per cent of consumers are having to spend at least 40 per cent of their pay on financing their debt each month. For such consumers, it will take more than a bit of bargain hunting to get back on track financially.
 

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