With holidays on the horizon for many, new research from American Express shows that British holidaymakers expect to spend £2,804 across the summer on international trips, with almost 4 in 10 (39%) planning to spend more on foreign holidays this summer versus last.

Many UK travellers are planning to take multiple foreign holidays this summer (summer defined as 1 June to 30 September), with 39% of those going abroad planning at least two international trips.

Whether it’s a hotel, B&B or villa, accommodation is the highest area of spending for those holidaying overseas – costing £812 across summer. Travel comes in next, with Brits planning to spend nearly £698 reaching their getaway destinations, followed by holiday dining at £492. 

No passport, no problem

 The research, which is based on consumers’ self-reported data and does not reflect Amex Cardmember spending data, also looked at staycations – the act of holidaying in one’s own home or home country.

The research revealed that it’s not just overseas holidays Brits are looking forward to. More than half of UK adults (53%) are planning to take, or have already taken, a staycation this summer.

In total, Brits taking domestic holidays will spend £1,754 across all their UK-based holidays this summer and one-third (33%) are planning to spend more on domestic holidays this summer versus last.

Holidaymakers in the UK will go on nearly two (1.8) domestic summer trips, on average. Younger travellers have the most appetite for discovering domestic holiday spots, with 63% of 18- to 34-year-olds planning a staycation this summer. The same is also true for international travel, at 59%.

 

City slickers

City breaks are the most popular type of UK holiday for staycationers, with nearly a third (30%) of domestic travellers planning to go away to a British city this summer. 78% of those going on staycations this summer say that proximity to restaurants, cafés and bars is an important factor when picking destinations. London takes top spot for staycation city breaks, with 16% of domestic tourists looking for a taste of big city life in the capital, followed by Manchester (8%) and Edinburgh (8%).

Outside of cities,16% of domestic tourists are planning to head to Wales, 14% to Cornwall and The Lake District, and 10% to Devon.

Word of mouth is the most likely factor to inspire our UK holidays. 41% of Brits say what, where and how they plan staycations is influenced by family and friends, with online reviews (32%) and local weather (31%) being next most influential. UK adult consumers under 35 are most likely to be influenced by social media, with 39% saying it impacts their holiday choices.

 

Dave Edwards, Vice President, American Express: “We know, for our Cardmembers, that travel is an important part of their summer plans. Whether it’s an international trip or a domestic break, Brits are looking forward to their summer holidays with 33% planning a getaway. Holidays to international beach destinations, or popular UK city and country escapes, are just some of the ways we’ll be getting away this summer, with Amex® Cardmembers able to earn and use rewards to take them further.”

Social media may be inspiring a new generation of savvy savers and fiscally responsible young adults, with 74% of Gen Z participating in social media-driven challenges to boost their overall savings as revealed in the latest NatWest Savings Index.

In comparison to other age groups, Gen Z are the most likely of any generation to budget. Almost seven in ten (69%) 18-24-year-olds say they create a budget for their finances, contrasting with those aged 65 and older where less than half (42%) report setting a budget for themselves.

Younger savers are actively engaging with social media-driven savings challenges. Nearly a fifth of 18-24-year-olds say they take part in ‘no-spend months’ (18%), and the ‘50/30/20’ (wants/needs/savings) rule (17%), with more than one in five trying no impulse purchases (21%), as they seek to boost their overall savings. All of this may be creating a generation of financially aware young people.

The NatWest Index surveyed 10,000 people across the UK. It found that nationally, 22% of UK adults save less than £50 a month. On average, UK adults who save are saving 24% less per month than they think they should, putting away £203.21 each month despite believing that they should be saving closer to £265.95.

As well as many lacking a savings goal, the research revealed that the absence of a savings buffer is taking a toll on their mental health, with 22% of respondents saying their savings balance is negatively impacting their wellbeing and more than a quarter (27%) of adults saying they do not discuss their finances with anyone. There are clear generational differences, with younger generations more likely to discuss their finances (86%), compared to Baby Boomers, 37% of whom say that they would not discuss this with anyone.

The research also discovered that nearly two in five UK adults (39%) do not budget at all and 13% have no emergency fund, with 25% of those surveyed having less than £400 in their emergency fund, despite ongoing economic challenges.

Over half of respondents cited increased grocery costs (56%) and increased energy bills (51%) as the top factors limiting savings potential. More than three-quarters (76%) said they were willing to cut discretionary spending to boost savings, including 42% willing to give up eating out to increase how much they can save.

“On the plus side, it’s encouraging to see the younger generation engaging with new ideas and solutions to boost their savings. The research is a stark wake-up call – nearly two in five adults (39%) don’t budget at all and just over half (53%) do not have a specific savings goal,” said Lewis Broadie, Savings Expert at NatWest.

“The findings stress a need for greater financial education and accessible tools to support people in effectively managing their budgets and getting practical support to reach their savings goals.”

View the full NatWest Savings Index for more results on the UK’s savings habits, as well as tips and advice around budgeting towards savings goals. Savings Index | Savings Statistics and Report | NatWest

 

With only a few days until the six-week holidays commences, parents are looking for ways to keep their kids entertained without breaking the bank.

Hodge reveals the potential costs of family outings and shares tips on having fun while staying in budget.

Christie Cook, managing director of retail at Hodge said:

“The six-week break is a great opportunity for families to enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities.

“However, with the current economic climate, it can be challenging to afford regular days out. Mixing more affordable home-based activities with occasional outings can help balance the costs.”

Cost breakdown of popular family activities over six-week holiday

Based on a family of four (2 adults, 2 children aged 2-15 years, except Go Karting for ages 8-12 children and 13+ adults)

Activities Per family (£)
Cinema £58
Zoo £105
Indoor trampoline park £60
Laser tag £37
Theatre £148
Aquarium £126
Go karting £222
Theme park £106
Escape room £40
Ice skating £42
Mini golf £48
Total £992

Three budgeting tips from Hodge

  1. Board game nights: Spend time playing classic board games like Scrabble, Guess Who, or Kerplunk. These games not only entertain but also encourage family bonding at home without hefty costs.
  2. Budget-friendly movie nights: Skip the expensive cinema tickets and create your own movie night at home. Subscribe to streaming services like Disney+ or Netflix (monthly fees range from £7.99 to £10.99) or rent films on platforms like Rakuten. Enhance the experience by buying cinema-style snacks from the supermarket, such as popcorn, sweets and nachos. This not only saves money but also means you can enjoy a film in your pyjamas, in the comfort of your own home.
  3. Local events: Use platforms like Facebook Events to discover free or low-cost local events. From community fairs to cultural festivals, these events often provide entertainment options that are budget-friendly and enjoyable for the whole family.

Christie added: “Personally I love a good picnic and getting out in nature, whether that’s a day at the beach, a cycle along the canal, or trips to the playground to play whichever ball game the kids are into that week. Cheaper days out can be just as much fun as a trip to a theme park with a little imagination and hopefully a bit of luck with the British weather.”

Investing your money wisely is a key strategy for achieving financial stability and growth. Rather than letting your savings languish in a low-interest account, making smart investments can significantly boost your financial standing. Here’s how you can make your money work for you through various investment avenues.

The Basics of Investing

Before diving into investments, it’s essential to learn about the fundamentals. Investing involves allocating your money into assets with the expectation of generating profit over time. This could be through capital appreciation, dividends, or interest payments. Unlike saving, investing carries some risk, but with the right knowledge and strategy, you can maximise your returns. Some investments such as property and dividends have less risk involved, while others such as cryptocurrencies can fluctuate dramatically. Make use of resources such as news from newsbtc.com to learn more about high-risk investments like crypto to help understand them more.

The Power of Compound Interest

One of the most powerful concepts in investing is compound interest. This is the process where the interest earned on your investments starts earning interest itself, leading to exponential growth over time. The earlier you start investing, the more you can benefit from compounding. For instance, investing £1,000 at an annual interest rate of 5% would grow to approximately £1,276 in five years, and to £1,628 in ten years, without any additional contributions.

Diversifying Your Portfolio

Diversification is a critical strategy to mitigate risk in your investment portfolio. By spreading your investments across various asset classes – such as stocks, bonds, property, and commodities – you reduce the impact of a poor-performing asset on your overall portfolio. Diversification ensures that you are not overly dependent on one investment, thereby enhancing your financial security.

Stocks and Shares

Investing in stocks and shares is a popular way to potentially earn high returns. When you buy a share of a company, you own a piece of that company. As the company grows and becomes more profitable, the value of your shares can increase, leading to capital gains. Additionally, many companies pay dividends, which provide a regular income stream. However, stock markets can be volatile, and it’s important to conduct thorough research or consult a financial advisor before investing.

Bonds and Fixed-Income Securities

Bonds are considered a safer investment compared to stocks. When you buy a bond, you are essentially lending money to a government or corporation in exchange for regular interest payments, and the return of the principal amount at maturity. Bonds provide a steady income and are less susceptible to market fluctuations, making them ideal for risk-averse investors or those nearing retirement.

Property Investments

Property can be a lucrative investment option, offering both capital appreciation and rental income. Investing in property requires substantial capital and ongoing maintenance, but it can provide significant returns. Research which methods of investing in property would work best for you, or consider combining different methods in your portfolio.

Mutual Funds and ETFs

Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are collective investment schemes that pool money from multiple investors to buy a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other assets. These funds are managed by professional fund managers, which can be beneficial if you lack the time or expertise to manage your own investments. ETFs, in particular, offer flexibility as they can be traded on stock exchanges like individual stocks.

Managing Investment Risks

All investments come with some degree of risk, but understanding and managing these risks is crucial for long-term success. Regularly review your investment portfolio to ensure it aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance. Stay informed about market trends and economic indicators, and don’t hesitate to seek advice from financial professionals when necessary.

The Importance of Patience and Discipline

Investing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires patience, discipline, and a long-term perspective. Market fluctuations are normal, and reacting impulsively to short-term volatility can harm your financial outcomes. Set realistic goals, stick to your investment plan, and remember that time in the market often outweighs timing the market.

Important

The information does not represent the opinions of Moneynet on whether to buy, sell or hold any investments and naturally investing carries risks. Do not invest money that you cannot afford to lose.

You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions.

A recent study has revealed that holidaymakers across the country are missing out on significant travel savings. 86.2 million UK residents travelled abroad in 2023, providing a staggering potential for money-saving.[1] According to the new research, travellers could collectively save £3.66 billion per year by using free and easily accessible voucher codes.[2]

The data, sourced from discount deals website MyVoucherCodes, reveals that consumers saved an average of £42.49 per travel transaction. The average travel spend on the site was £690, returning a 6% discount on average. With this offer, a family of four spending £2760.20 could save nearly £170 by using voucher codes.

Despite the potential to enhance a holiday with a cash boost, most travellers overlook these savings. The study shows that travellers who used voucher codes over the past 12 months saved a combined total of just over £96,000 –  less than 1% of the total potential savings for the year, indicating a significant missed opportunity for the majority of holidaymakers.

Sarah-Jane Outten, savings expert for MyVoucherCodes, said: “The secret to success with voucher codes is to use them consistently. While the average saving per booking may not seem like much at first glance, it quickly adds up when applied over multiple trips or family holidays. That extra cash could be spent on a fun excursion, extra meals out, or even an accommodation upgrade.

“As well as checking for discount codes, there are plenty more ways to save money on travel. For instance, comparing the cost of flights and accommodation using online price tracking tools such as Google Flights and Booking.com. Set these tools to alert you when prices drop, so that you can book at the best time.

“Having the flexibility to fly from a different airport can sometimes mean securing cheaper fares, and don’t forget to sign up for flash deals and exclusive offers. If you can, travelling during off-peak months often makes a huge difference to the cost of your holiday. Avoiding peak travel times can mean lower prices for flights, accommodation, and attractions – plus, a more relaxed getaway with fewer crowds is a bonus!

  • Italy has been crowned Europe’s most family-friendly destination, outshining popular spots like Spain and France.

  • Travel experts scored Europe’s top destinations on a range of family-friendly criteria.

  • Italy achieved an impressive score of 9 out of 10 on the family-friendly index.

Italy has been named Europe’s top family-friendly destination, making it the go-to spot for families seeking their next getaway. With an impressive score of 9 out of 10, the country has beaten other well-loved spots such as Spain and France.

The research, by Go.Compare, evaluated Europe’s most popular travel destinations based on several family-friendly factors. It looked at the number of hotels catering to families, the reliability of the countries’ airports, and the availability of family-friendly attractions. It also took into consideration the increase in cost for flights and accommodations during peak travel seasons, like school holidays.

A “Family Score” was then created to rank the destinations based on these factors, out of 10. The top three family-friendly destinations and their scores are:

  1. Italy: 9/10

  2. France: 8.5/10

  3. Spain: 6.8/10

Italy’s victory might be unexpected for many, especially since Spain is often considered the favourite among Brits. Its status as the most visited country has remained unchanged for over five years, drawing in nearly 18 million visits in 2023 alone – 21% of the total visits abroad last year. So, it comes as a surprise that Spain isn’t the most suitable for families.

Italy stands out with over 40,000 family-friendly hotels and more than 16,000 attractions designed for family fun. And while Spain offers just over 31,000 hotels and 8,000 attractions, it falls short in some other key areas.

For one, only 73% of flights are on time, compared to 79% for italy and 81% for France. More importantly, Spain sees a hefty 22% average price increase during school holidays, whereas Italy’s prices only bump up by 2%.[4]

Rhys Jones, travel expert at Go.Compare, said: “There are plenty of things to consider when planning a family trip. Italy’s combination of generous family-friendly accommodations, plentiful attractions, reliable airports, and minimal price increases during peak seasons make it the ultimate destination for family holidays. So, for those planning their next family trip, Italy might need to be at the top of the list.

“While our Family Score covers important factors for choosing the right destination, there are other considerations to keep in mind. Making sure you have access to convenient transport methods and dining options that cater to the whole family are small details that can make or break your holiday.

“But, even with careful planning, unforeseen circumstances can arise. That’s why travel insurance should be on the checklist. Comprehensive policies can protect you against medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost luggage, and emergency assistance if needed.”

More information on the growing trend of solo travel can be found on Go.Compare’s website.

Multigenerational holidays are a mainstay of British downtime, with nearly one in three Brits (29%) saying they’ve been on a holiday with adult family members from multiple generations in the last three years, according to new research from Kent Reliance.

Adult children are one of the main beneficiaries of these family holidays, with 42% of parents paying for their adult children to join the getaway to the tune of an average of £2,423.90 per parent.

The UK is the most popular destination for multigenerational family holidays (40%), followed by Europe (37%). Yet many families are travelling further afield together – whether to Asia (5%), North America (5%) or Africa (5%).

For many, these holidays are valuable for enhancing family relationships, with three-quarters (73%) of respondents stating that they have a strong impact on their family bond.

Meanwhile, 47% regard them as a tradition and something they do regularly and 60% of those who have been on multigenerational holidays say they are the trips they look forward to the most.

Louise Halliwell, Group Savings Director, Kent Reliance, comments:

“Multigenerational holidays are a mainstay of how families come together to spend time with each other and create cherished memories. Whether heading to far-flung destinations or closer to home, creating these memories is something that 47% of respondents are prioritising and financing to help bring their family together.

“Londoners are the most likely to holiday with their family, with 39% saying they have done so in the last three years. Other regions follow suit with 32% in the North West, 30% in the South West and East of England, 28% in Yorkshire and Humberside and 26% of people in Northern Ireland.”

Britain is a nation of sport lovers and with a summer of live action already in full swing new research from American Express reveals just how much Brits are willing to invest in it.

Fans attending sports events will go to an average of five live events across the summer. On average, Brits spend a total of £3.4bn on securing tickets and a further £2.7bn on food and drink attending these events.

Plenty of Brits (16%) will also watch sport at pubs this summer, with the average pub going sports fan expecting to spend £62 on drinks per sports event and £404 in total on drinks across the summer. Fans that plan to eat will spend an average of £70 on a meal when they dine out for sports events.

Watching sport at home is the most popular venue for supporters (90% of football fans will watch at least one match at home this summer) and fans will spend an average of £108 on home entertainment upgrades and £61 on TV subscriptions to facilitate watching sport this summer.

Fans are also preparing to spend £81 on sports apps, games and news services to keep in the know.

Brits are the least likely in Europe to think about their credit score, with nearly half of UK adults (46%) neglecting what their current rating is.

Having a good credit score can pave the way to many useful benefits, including access to better borrowing terms, lower interest rates, and improved chances of successful loan applications.

According to recent statistics, about one Brit in five has a poor credit rating. However, the good news is that there are several ways to improve your score – and taking out car finance, for example, can help do just that. But how exactly?

Jonathan Such, head of sales at vehicle finance company First Response Finance, explains how car finance can boost your credit score, highlighting some of its most prominent long-term advantages.

Establish credit history
One of the most appealing benefits of taking out car finance is that it can help establish a longer credit history. This is especially true for those motorists who are new to credit or have a limited credit history.

Such said: “Buying a car is often one of the first significant investments you make, particularly if you’ve passed your test at a young age and are looking to hit the road as soon as you get hold of your driving licence.

“There’s  a chance that, at this stage of your life, you may have limited credit history – or no history at all. In this scenario, a car loan can kickstart your credit profile, making it easier for you in the future to obtain other forms of credit.

“In fact, length of credit history is an important factor in the eyes of a lender, and it can actually make up 15% to 20% of your credit score.”

 

Build a positive payment history
As well as helping (younger) drivers get on the credit ladder, taking out car finance allows you to build a positive payment history.

Sticking to your monthly instalments and making on-time payments will work wonders on your credit rating, as it shows you have the ability to manage and keep up with your bills. This is something that future lenders will consider carefully when deciding whether to give you a loan or not.

Ultimately, finance providers are more likely to lend you money if they can see that you’ve been able to keep up with regular payments in the past.

 

Demonstrate financial responsibility
In line with what’s been said above, adhering to your monthly instalments in a timely fashion and building a positive payment history through car finance will help you demonstrate financial responsibility and creditworthiness.

“Successfully managing a car loan will show that you’re  a reliable borrower,” Such added. “It indicates that you’re able to meet deadlines and respect agreement terms, meaning you aren’t a risk to credit lenders.

“Reliability and responsibility are things that finance providers take into serious consideration when evaluating an application. A good track record of timely payments can make the difference between a successful and rejected loan request.

“Demonstrating trustworthiness by fulfilling your car finance payments can be extremely beneficial if you plan to apply for other types of credit, such as personal loans or mortgages.”

 

Show a diverse credit mix
A ‘credit mix’ refers to different types of loans you’ve taken out.

In short, there are two forms of credit – instalment and revolving. The former consists in loans that have fixed monthly repayments and a set end date, such as car finance.

The latter, instead, is a type of loan that has a minimum monthly repayment figure but no specific end date or balance (i.e., credit cards).

Credit scoring models tend to favour borrowers with a diverse credit mix, as it proves that they’re able to manage different types of loans and credits.

So, taking out car finance and adding instalment credit to your file can help you improve your credit ranking and better your ‘reputation’ in the eyes of potential lenders.

As well as allowing you to spread the costs of your new vehicle purchase, taking out car finance can boost your credit score.

 

New data from SpareRoom, the UK’s number one flat-sharing site, has revealed the staggering financial impact of cleaning-related deposit deductions on renters.

Almost two thirds (63%) of UK renters have experienced deposit deductions due to cleaning-related issues, leading to over £724million*** worth of losses overall per year in the UK. These losses are based on claims that the property was not thoroughly cleaned prior to the tenancy ending, and therefore landlords have needed to pay for professional services.

The average amount of money deducted from renters’ deposits was £250, but 29% suffered deductions of more than £500, and 16% had over £750 subtracted.

Of those who experienced cleaning-related deductions, only one third (34%) proactively contested them and of those who did contest, 41% were able to reach an agreement with their landlord to reduce or cancel the proposed deductions.

And the topic of household cleaning also rears its head as a common cause of breakdown in flatmate communication. Whilst 27% of renters say they’ve created a cleaning rota to determine who cleans when, 28% say they don’t have a system at all, and simply chip in when needed. The latter, however, doesn’t always prove fruitful, as almost three in five (59%) renters said they’d experienced arguments with flatmates over cleaning. This is despite ‘similar standards of cleanliness’ ranking second in a recent SpareRoom poll of the most important flatmate characteristics.

Only 17% of renters said they paid for a professional clean prior to moving out, and commenting on these figures, Matt Hutchinson, SpareRoom Director said“Navigating the moving out process can be a stressful one, for both renters and landlords, and ultimately landlords want to ensure their property is left in a good condition as much as renters want their deposits back.

Although landlords can’t legally demand that tenants pay for professional cleaning, to minimise the risk of cleaning-related deposit deductions, renters should ensure that they’ve conducted a thorough clean either themselves or using a professional service, as well as staying on top of cleaning throughout the tenancy. It can be a tricky road to navigate, but transparent landlord-tenant conversations throughout the process can help to ensure there are no surprise deductions at the end of the road.”

The dreaded deep clean

According to SpareRoom’s research, the oven is the most dreaded appliance to clean, meaning renters put off cleaning it longer than they should, followed by kitchen cupboards and drawers. But how often should you really get down and dirty? SpareRoom experts reveal exactly how you should be deep cleaning your property and appliances…

  •     Oven

○       Often the most dreaded appliance to clean, generally an oven should be deep cleaned every three months to avoid grease build-up and keep things sparkling, which may come as a shock to the 13% of renters who said they’d never once cleaned it!

  •     Dishwasher

○       A whopping 31% of renters said they’d never cleaned their dishwasher, and why would they? It cleans itself, right? Wrong. Although your dishwasher does a great job of cleaning dishes, it still needs its own TLC, and a dedicated dishwasher cleaner will do the job, removing mineral buildup and detergent residue that may be trapped within the machine.

  •     Fridge

○       When fresh food is involved, it seems Brits are pretty good at staying on top of cleaning. Whilst it’s recommended that you deep clean your fridge every few months, nearly a quarter of Brits (24%) say they give it a clean every week. Having said this, a deep clean should always involve removing food and storing in a cool bag, before switching off, removing all drawers and shelving and getting into every nook and cranny!

  •     Windows

○       11% of renters have never cleaned their windows, meaning streaks, stains and dirt build-up are commonplace for many. Although regular exterior window cleaning isn’t essential, we should be cleaning them at least twice a year – if your flat is above ground floor, speak to your landlord or building maintenance team to discuss professional cleaning.