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Brits turn to savvy money-saving ideas to get them through 2023

  • Over half of Brits believe that 2023 will be the hardest year they’ve ever had financially
  • Saving money tops the list of New Year’s resolutions, with saving energy around the home coming in at number three, up from sixth place a year ago.
  • 57% can see themselves taking on more energy efficient behaviours to do so
  • Nearly three quarters of those with a smart meter say it has helped them be more aware of their energy usage

5th January 2023: More than half (56%) of GB adults agree that 2023 will be the hardest year they’ve ever faced, in terms of finances.

New research, published today by Smart Energy GB, also revealed that those aged 25-34 are the age group that is most likely to suggest taking steps to reduce their outgoings. Three-quarters (76%) of people in this age group have done this, significantly more than Gen Z adults aged 18-24 (43%) or those aged over 65 (62%).

These millennial savvy savers are also most likely to have a smart meter in their home (59%), allowing them to check their energy usage via the in-home display in near-real time.

Those in this 25-34 age group are also most willing to try new ways to save money in 2023 (78%), compared to just 49% of adults younger than them. Showering at the gym, batch cooking meals to make the most of the oven being on and working from the office more regularly are other ways that those between 25-34 are cutting back.

Across all age groups, the most common focus for those who have set a New Year’s resolution was saving money – more than prioritising their health and diet. This is a reversal of 2022’s goals, when dealing with health and diet was more common than saving cash.

Saving energy around the home is now the third-most selected resolution, up from sixth place a year ago.

Different age groups are coping in different ways. Those aged 35 to 44 are most likely to have started taking in a packed lunch to work and have bought clothes from a charity shop.

But adults aged 55 to 64 most commonly grow their own produce and make sure their roofs are properly insulated.

Hayley Holdsworth, is a 27-year-old full-time student from West Yorkshire, raising four children. With just one income coming in, that of her husband Jonathan, she makes sure to be as savvy as possible. She uses cashback sites for online purchases and says not to knock supermarket’s own-brand products until you’ve tried them. With one in four of the survey respondents buying shop-brand groceries as a way to save money, this is a popular way to be savvy.

When it comes to energy, Hayley says turning radiators down in little-used rooms like the downstairs loo is a priority – and so is keeping tabs through her smart meter. She said: “We have a smart meter, and find it’s good for seeing exactly when you’ve remembered to use the eco-settings on your appliances - you can really see the difference.

“We’ve had ours for about two years now, and it gives you the incentive to remember to use eco-settings and it also helps remind you not to leave things on standby.

“We’d always look to have one, if we moved it would be a priority if we moved to get one – and as the children get older it’s only going to get more and more expensive!”

Positively, 84% of all those polled have a very good idea how much money goes out to pay their household bills. But, half (51%) of respondents have still been caught off guard by an unexpectedly high energy bill, with more younger people experiencing this than older generations.

Smart meters have a handy in-home display which provides helpful information that can help people identify where they can cut down on their energy use, and potentially save money on their energy bills. Nearly three quarters (72%) of those with a smart meter say it has helped them be more aware of their energy usage. Smart meters also send automatic readings to your energy supplier, meaning you will get accurate bills without having to take manual meter readings.

Victoria Bacon, a director at Smart Energy GB, said:

“With bills remaining high for many going into the new year, it’s not surprising people are making plans to help offset the rising cost of living in 2023. 

“Getting a smart meter installed, at no additional cost, can be an effective way to manage your energy use. Its in-home display provides you with information in near-real time and in pounds and pence, allowing you to make informed choices about where to save.”


Common things Brits did to save money in 2022

  1. Bought shop-brand groceries
  2. Worn multiple layers of coats/jumpers in the home
  3. Signed up for a loyalty card
  4. Used a price comparison website to find the best deal
  5. Bled radiators to make them more efficient
  6. Taken shorter showers
  7. Batch cooked meals together
  8. Bought in bulk
  9. Used public transport/cycled/walked instead of driving
  10. Cancelled a subscription
  11. Started taking in a packed lunch to work
  12. Grown produce
  13. Insulated roofs
  14. Bought heavier curtains to prevent heat loss through the windows
  15. Bought clothes at a charity shops
  16. Exercised in order to warm up
  17. Bought draught excluders
  18. Moved furniture from blocking radiators
  19. Re-sealed windows and doors
  20. Added rugs to prevent heat loss through the floor
  21. Cooked more to warm up by the stove
  22. Worked from the office when it wasn’t a requirement
  23. Showered at the gym