Brits are balancing 'must-haves' with money saving

München, (PresseBox) - People are changing their lives to survive the downturn, ditching things like new clothes and going out but refusing to lose their internet connection and mobile phone, a survey by BT revealed.

New clothes and alcohol were the things people were most likely to decide were too difficult to justify in the credit crunch.

But 57 per cent of people surveyed said they would refuse to lose their broadband connection, with 37 per cent saying they couldn’t survive without their mobile. The result for broadband meant that more people said they would hang on to broadband than fresh fruit and vegetables.
More than one in four people (29%) are ‘desperately’ or ‘very’ worried about the possibility of recession, according to the poll of 1600 adults for BT.

Britain’s ‘Refuse to Lose’ list
1) Broadband (57%)
2) Fresh fruit and veg (43%)
3) Mobile phone (37%)
4) Home phone (27%)
5) Chocolate (25%)
6) TV subscription (22%)
7) Alcohol (17%)
8) New clothes (13%)

Personal Finance expert and TV presenter, Alvin Hall, commented: “This attachment to communications is less absurd than it might initially seem. Clearly fresh fruit and vegetables should be top of everyone’s must have list, but staying connected offers a vital lifeline in this 24/7 society we all now live in.

“Broadband offers access to myriad ways of saving money – searching for the cheapest deal, selling unwanted goods on online auctions, downloading discount vouchers, entering competitions and even taking part in surveys like this one in return for cash.”

However, with mobile phones featuring higher up on our list of communications ‘must haves’ than the landline, people could be missing out on one of the easiest ways to make savings. More than half of people still think calling a mobile from a landline is expensive. In fact, people who use a pay-as-you-go mobile at home could be paying up to 50% over the odds for their calls.

John Petter, managing director of BT’s Consumer division, said: “Savvy savers have already worked out how they can use technology to their advantage, with almost half of people using their internet to search for bargains on comparison sites and one in six people starting to use their landline instead of their mobile. However, amazingly around 40 per cent of mobile calls are currently made in the home, just steps away from the cheaper landline option. With Mobile Saver now costing just 7.3 pence per minute throughout the day, customers can stay in touch without worrying about the phone bill.”

Around three-quarters (71%) of people said that they’re tightening their belts since the credit crunch started, with the most popular money-saving tactic being to stay in more often (62%). Although 17% of people said they’d refuse to give up alcohol, almost twice as many (31%) said that they were already cutting back on the booze to save money. Surprisingly, the cider-loving South West (38%) and whiskey-producing Scotland (36%) were most likely to be prepared to cut down on drinking.

The South West is taking the most frugal approach, with 69% of people claiming to be wrapping up warm in jumpers to save on heating costs. In the East Midlands, one in four people are taking an energetic approach to saving money by walking or cycling to work. East Anglia is putting its faith in lady luck, with two-thirds of people (64%) busily entering competitions to win their way out of financial difficulty.

Inquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369. From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369
All news releases can be accessed at our web site:

Research findings

Online survey conducted by for BT amongst 1,684 UK adults between 22-23 October 2008. Full regional breakdowns are available on request.

* ‘Refuse to Lose’ list

Respondents were asked, “Which of the following things would you refuse to give up, despite being short of cash?” (ranked from highest to lowest)

1) Broadband (57%)
2) Fresh fruit and veg (43%)
3) Mobile phone (37%)
4) Home phone (27%)
5) Chocolate (25%)
6) TV subscription (22%)
7) Alcohol (17%)
8) New clothes (13%)
9) Newspapers and magazines (11%)
Having your hair done (11%)
Shoes (11%)
Eating out (11%)
13) Make-up and beauty treatments (9%)
14) Sports channel package (6%)
15) Other (1%)

** Top 10 money-saving measures
1) Staying in more (63%)
2) Going to cheaper shops (59%)
3) Wearing jumpers rather than putting the heating on (51%)
4) Making the most of loyalty and reward cards (49%)
5) Taking part in competitions (49%)
6) Taking a packed lunch or leftovers to work instead of buying lunch (47%)
7) Using comparison sites on the internet to get a bargain (44%)
8) Selling unwanted items online or at car boot sales (39%)
9) Buying fewer magazines (34%)
10) Using cash rather than plastic (34%)

About Mobile Saver

With Mobile Saver, calls to UK mobiles from your BT landline are now only 7.3p per minute, all day, every day. This is a 40% discount on Daytime pence per minute rates to UK mobiles (excluding Roaming) compared with BT standard rates. 7p call set up fee applies. Mobile Saver is available either inclusive with a Calling Plan (from £10.50 a month with Direct Debit and paper-free billing) or for £1.50 a month. See for details.

BT (Germany) GmbH & Co. oHG

BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2008, BT Group's revenue was £20,704 million with profit before taxation and specific items of £2,506 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

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