Breaking bad habits could save you £170 on your bills, says psychologist

A psychologist warns Brits could save nearly £170 if they just aren’t such creatures of habit when it comes to their bills and suppliers.

A new survey of 2,000 adults from comparison site Uswitch.com says a third of Brits say they wouldn’t bother changing their broadband subscriptions, even though 36% want to check their bills and spending.

The leading psychologist at University College London, Dr. Dimitrios Tsivrikos, has found that being a creature of habit and not wanting to switch can be more than just an attitude or willingness issue.

“Rooted in psychology, consumers tend to stick to their habits with very little variation. The stronger the habit, the less likely a consumer is to break it. Therefore, if a consumer has a fixed contract with a service provider for a long time, he is unlikely to break his habit and switch providers. Much can be said about what drives a consumer to keep or switch service providers. Brits are no different when they adopt this complex mindset with the goal of changing things, but not too much.”

With experts from Uswitch suggesting that broadband alone can save us nearly £170 a year, breaking the habit of staying put could be crucial.

The average Brit hasn’t switched broadband in over two and a half years. Because people are often tied to long-term contracts, prices can stealthily increase if people aren’t careful when their deals end.

When it comes to the reasons they switch, unsurprisingly price is the number one reason, but for 1 in 3 it’s the quality of service that’s not up to par.

The most important changes this year for Britons are bills and their personal finances (51%), home decor (25%) and their cooking habits (25%). However, the top reasons for changing their lifestyle are not all money-related as they are more motivated (21%), freshen up their routine (21%) and enjoy life a little more (17%). play into the decisions.

dr Tsivrikos explains why switching can benefit both our mental health and our financial health.

“Although price can be a factor in this decision, the most important factors are not money related. Some of these factors are a motivation to freshen up your routine and have more fun. From a psychological point of view, fun has an immediate and lasting effect on people. The more fun someone is having, the more motivated they are to keep doing it. This is called intrinsic motivation. When people find it more fun to change their routine, they are more likely to continue making lifestyle changes. Coupled with the lifting of COVID restrictions, people are starting to see fun as a necessity rather than a bonus.”

For many, making a change in their lives means more than just saving money. A third said one change they made was improving their mental health. A quarter say this could be because they are dissatisfied with their current performance.

dr Tsivriko’s top tips for switching

Think about your change – A lifestyle change, no matter how small, should be well thought out and planned for. Asking what, when, why, and how questions throughout the process will give you a clear understanding of what to do next. A better understanding can lead to more confidence in the decision to switch.

Start Small – Having a goal to make a difference in your life can seem daunting. Starting small can help overcome intimidation. Breaking your plan into bite-sized chunks can make the goal seem more accessible, allowing you to focus on one step at a time.

Find a way to make things fun – When you find a way to make the switch fun, intrinsic motivation will motivate you to go through with the decision. For example, listening to an audio book while running or reading a new book on the way to work

Do you feel uncomfortable – Praise yourself for stepping out of your comfort zone will give you extra motivation to continue your transition. Discomfort can be a sign of growth and engagement in the learning process.

Set up a support system – Recruiting friends and family to make your move can give you the motivation to go through with it. When they have the same goal, you can hold each other accountable and work towards the same goal as a team.

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