Sir Philip Green’s recent report into government spending identified a far worse state of affairs than he’d first anticipated.
I imagine there are more than a few people in the government tasked with keeping an eye on spending, looking at the cost of services as well as the way in which services are purchased.
The key theme of the report was one of waste. Green predicted he would unearth waste before his investigation began, but he admits to being shocked by the level found. His report concludes that it is the system, not the people that are to blame.
This gets me thinking about the average consumer. Would we consider ourselves to have a system for managing our financial affairs and if we do, do we regularly audit and review it? I doubt it.
The point I’m making is that it is sometimes reports like this or announcements about an increase in the cost of attending university that make consumers sit up and take financial stock.
These issues present us with an opportunity to get consumers to engage properly with their financial affairs, making sure they are getting the best deal on their mortgage or utility bills, ensuring they have the right protection and helping them plan for retirement.
I don’t have any statistics on how much money people waste by not reviewing what they buy, how they buy it and what it costs to buy it, but if they reviewed their household finances they’d find some unnecessary waste.