Monday, 23 May 2011

Money - That's What (They) Want

Are you allowing someone else to manage your money?

Buy into the money saving craze and that’s exactly what you are doing. Here at Zero-credit we treat deals with caution. It’s in every marketer’s interest to show their products and services are best, and flavour of the month (if only it were a month!) is saving you money. We thought we’d show you some of the profits these “great deals” make! Due credit if you’ve managed to avoid them so far!

According to a YouGov poll, conducted for the launch of a yet another comparison site last week, these new kids on the broking block take some £650 million in commission every year. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this is around £10 a head, based on total population statistics. But hold on a minute... we buy insurance and utilities as households, right? Yes, you’re absolutely right!

In fact, around 40% of us have switched to digital brokers that charge much the same in commission, and cost considerably more in time than someone ringing around for you. From a household population of some 25 million, online commissions work out at a staggering 24% of sales or £64.59 per customer. Then, of course, comparison sites produce an overpopulated list of “great deals” to choose from. It’s hardly surprising that these run into dozens, when market researchers have been using Lickert scales for decades because people are confused (spot the irony?) by more than a few options.

With or without standing charge, dual fuel, excess, complimentary random stuff: all these variations for something to turn on a light or keep a car on the road. Can you imagine if we did that to water? Oops, I forgot. Coke tried that already. 

One area where comparison sites are starting to excel, is in suggesting alternatives that you’ve not yet considered. It’s become so mainstream to have a no-to-low credit rating these days that products and services, which were the preserve of the poor, are hitting digital shop windows like never before. Check out the wide range of credit-builder and prepaid-cards or non-debt current accounts that charge around 30% APR or £15 a month to do pretty much what a basic bank account does for free. That’s at least £180 a year taken out of your already squeezed middle.

Feel a midweek or weekend break coming on from the savings we've made? Well, watch our for money savers there too, because you can’t afford these small luxuries now, unless of course you take out a Payday loan. These pesky little blighters keep slipping under the net with people who don’t know the value of £25 paid as interest on a £100 loan, and who justify their existence with their “It’s cheaper than an unauthorised overdraft” millarky. Not only did the volume of Payday loans increase 400% in the four years up to 2010, but between the 2nd and 12th of May 2011 sales were up 58% on the same dates in April. It seems the Royal Wedding was a match made in heaven for more than one happy couple.

Recent research by Zero-credit reveals that “money saving” is beginning to have a dictionary definition in its own right. Want to know what it is? Something that helps you spend less money. In other words, far from cutting out unnecessary spending, the assumption is that you will still spend... Buyer beware! They want your money...


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