Half Of Americans Feel Worse Off Than They Did A Year Ago

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Photo: Flickr/jessica mullen

40-nine per cent of the population feel poorer now than they did 12 months ago, an increase of 7pc since July 2012.Nearly a quarter of those surveyed said they tended to run out of money before the end of the month, as a tough economic climate has left a fifth of people across the country seriously worried about their finances.

However, new research by comparison website GoCompare.com has shown that consumers are not doing all they can to ensure they are saving money.

Nearly a quarter of people have never switched any of the most common financial products, including car insurance, home insurance, energy providers and mobile phone operators, potentially missing out on hundreds of pounds worth of savings each year.

The research found that those who cut costs by shopping around for the best deal ended up saving an average of £175 each.

Almost two thirds of British drivers have not switched their car insurance policy in the last 12 months, and 44pc have stayed with the same insurer for more than two years. But, unfortunately for customers, loyalty rarely pays and drivers could potentially save more than £400 if they shop around for the best quotes on their premiums.

The switching figures show that 72pc of consumers haven’t replaced their home insurer in the last 12 months, and one in five have never switched.

Energy bills are another area where consumers could save money, but researched showed that 83pc of those who took part in the survey have not switched their energy provider in the last year.

Consumers could potentially save more than £350 by switching supplier, and yet 56pc have not done so in the last 12 months. 20-nine per cent have never changed their energy provider.

A quarter of people have never changed their broadband provider, and 21pc say they have never switched their land line provider. Nearly 40pc of those who took part in the survey said they have never moved their current account to a different bank, and 26pc admitted they have always used the same mobile phone operator.

John Miles, Gocompare.com’s business development director, advised: “40 nine per cent of Brits feel worse off now than they did a year ago. That’s the highest percentage we’ve ever measured in one of our surveys and is up from 42pc in July.

“Unfortunately it seems to confirm what many of us already know, that more than five years on from the start of the credit crunch UK consumers’ finances are still suffering.

“However, 47pc of people also say they could be doing more to save money and one of the best ways to start is by comparing, switching and saving on outgoings like car insurance, home insurance and energy.

“Car insurance premiums remain close to record highs, with average premiums more than doubling in the last three years, so motorists could make significant annual savings just by switching this alone.

“Saving money on your household expenses needn’t be a chore. Don’t accept your insurance renewal quotes or energy tariff changes without checking that the new price is competitive, and take time once or twice a year to review your finances and check that you are not paying over the odds for your household bills.

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