Last week we launched the first UK Consumer Digital Index, a comprehensive data led study of over 1 million UK consumers aimed at identifying the links between digital and financial literacy.
To support the launch we’ve created two consumer case studies that underpin the index findings and highlight the financial benefits of a digitally literate population. Find out below how Sarah and Jocelyn are reaping more than financial rewards through the smart use of online services.
Sarah Nuttall is a 40 year old Local Authority worker based in the shadows of Snowdonia in north Wales. Living in a remote and rural location with llamas and chickens often appearing by her front door, she admits the internet is her lifeline, enabling her to keep in contact with friends and family through social media.
Her passions are travelling and fitness and she is training to run a marathon in April next year. Sarah agrees with the Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index highlighting the fact that the internet can save significant sums of money.
“I check my account online every day to check my balance and to transfer money into a savings account if I have any surplus. It’s so easy to check on my mobile what is coming in and going out and encourages me to put money away for my next holiday. I’d much rather do it this way than queuing up at a branch, I don’t even have to get out of bed!”
“I pay all my bills online including utilities, and I regularly keep an eye out for the best deals which encourages me to switch if I see a cheaper one.”
Sarah also adds that being online helps her with her travel plans and fitness hobbies.
“I use a variety of fitness and diet apps which encourages me to reach my goals. I can check my progress during running sessions and make tweaks to my training schedule as necessary.
“I regularly use compare sites for holidays and actively share with my friends if I see a fantastic offer, so before you know it we’ve booked our next trip. I’ve also recently discovered how to pay a contact using a phone number through my mobile app which is useful when I visit friends in my home village and one picks up the bill for a meal.”
As Sarah lives in a remote location she also talked about the benefits of shopping online.
“I get all my groceries delivered and compare the prices from different supermarkets before I order. I buy furniture and clothes online too. In fact – I’d say the majority of any purchases I make are conducted over the internet.”
Jocelyn Royle 27, lives in Leeds with her husband Ben and children Theo, 5, and Poppy, 17 months.
The greatest saving that Jocelyn has made online has been on her car insurance, where she was able to reduce her annual premium by over £200. She also tries to sell any unwanted items online, rather than throwing them away or donating them to charity as a way of recouping money she’s spent.
“I’d guess that I was over £600 better off last year just by being online,” says Jocelyn. “I am fairly confident online, although I know I could do more to save money. One of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to shop around more online to compare prices – I’m sure I could probably find better deals on our energy bills and even the weekly shop and I know I’ll always be able to find a good use for any money that we can save.”
An online and mobile banking user, Jocelyn checks her balance twice a week and says she always makes transfers online because of the convenience. She regularly uses sites like Gumtree and pre-loved to sell items and also make purchases online
“I would never be able to find the time to sell things at events or car boot sales so online auction sites have been great for being able to get rid of things that we no longer need but that are still worth something. I’ve mainly sold old electrical items and children’s things and I’d say I’d managed to recoup about £400 through selling things online last year. Add to that the reduction I was able to make on my car insurance, and it makes a big difference.
“After I’d looked online and managed to reduce my own car insurance, I told my mum and encouraged her to do the same and she was able to save £250, which was a massive saving for her too.”
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