MoneySaving Polls Results Archive

How much are your basic necessary outgoings each year?
Martin often suggests you keep three to six months’ worth of basic outgoings as an emergency cash fund if you’re debt-free. So we want to find out how much this is for most people. How much do you spend on necessities in a year – incl rent/mortgage, basic food, energy bills, council tax, water bills, credit card/loan repayments?

Do you pay cash in hand for any of these services?
With an increased focus on tax collection, investigations have shown billions of extra revenue could be collected if there were more formal payments for casual work. Yet in many industries cash in hand is still commonplace. Which of the following would you typically pay cash in hand for? For services you use REGULARLY please select whether you pay cash in hand or in a traceable way (eg, cash with receipt/invoice or via cheque, card or bank transfer).

Parcel delivery firms: which are the best and worst?
Now the festive season is over, Santa finally has the chance to rest, yet for parcel delivery firms (which helped) it's business as usual. Over the past few years we've heard a variety of horror stories ranging from no-shows, mis-delivered parcels and even items being left in the bin. So it’s time for our fifth annual poll to sort the good guys from the cowboys... Please rate your experience with each of these firms DURING THE LAST YEAR (don’t rate if you haven’t experienced their services).

How did you fare financially in 2017?
With the year drawing to a close, we wanted to find out if you’re financially better off now than you were at the start of January 2017. Whether you saved money, paid off debt, overspent, borrowed, had a pay rise etc, tell us how your household finances fared over the past year. Please select ONE option under the relevant category.

Which celebrity chef would you want to cook your Christmas dinner?
Whether you plump for turkey, goose, ham or a good-old nut roast for your festive meal, which one of these UK-based celebrity chefs would you like to cook it? Which celebrity chef would you want to cook your Christmas dinner (and trimmings)?

What have you switched in 2017?
Sadly, the best deals rarely come to loyal customers. Moving company to a new, hot promotional deal is often (not always) the way to slash costs. So for EVERY category please select whether this year you’ve: - Switched: If you changed a provider/person in this category - Stuck: If you’re with the same provider/person (even if a different offering) - Don’t have: If you don’t have one of these…

Do you eat food past its ‘best before’ date?
This week the East of England Co-op joined the likes of online retailer Approved Food and others in selling food beyond its 'best before' date to try to reduce waste (read more on what 'best before' means). When you find food at home past its best before, what do you do?

If you could cancel Christmas, would you?
Christmas is nearly here. For some it conjures a picture of family, fun and festive frivolity; for others it means stress, present pressure, debt and chores (see Martin's Ban Unnecessary Christmas Presents blog). So if you had a CANCEL CHRISTMAS button that'd make the whole thing disappear (and just add days to your holiday entitlement), would you press it?

How do you rate your energy provider’s recent service?
Winter's nearly here, the heating's on and while we're all about slashing energy bills (do a five-min comparison to see if you can save), we know service counts too. So twice a year we test recent customer service. Please rate your current supplier's SERVICE (not price) IN THE LAST SIX MONTHS (try to forget issues from before). If you've gas & elec with different firms, rate both.

Have you haggled with Sky, BT, the AA and more this year? Did you succeed?
Haggling with companies can provide big savings – on anything from digital TV and broadband to credit cards, breakdown cover and insurance. Each year we try to gauge the success rates of those who’ve done it. So please let us know whether you’ve gained cheaper prices, extra goods, better deals or reduced interest. Which of these firms have you tried to haggle with IN THE LAST YEAR? (Select as many as you want from the major providers below.)

Do you use banking apps – and which are the best?
There were 159 banking app logins per second last year. And now there are even app-only banks. So we want to know what you think of them. Do consider how easy they are to use, customer service and the range of features, eg, does it just have standard features such as account details and transactions, or does it offer extra features such as budgeting and categorising your spending? Please vote for ALL THE APPS that you've used.

How often do you use cheques?
A new cheque clearing system starts to roll out this week which means cheques will clear no later than the end of the next weekday, rather than taking up to six – and you may soon be able to deposit cheques by sending a picture of them.  Yet are cheques a thing of decline for many? How often do you use a cheque to pay – which of these is nearest to your situation?

Have you had a pay rise in the last year?
The Consumer Prices Index, a key measure of UK inflation, hit 3% in September - the highest it's been since March 2012. So with living costs shooting upwards we wanted to know if your salary (excluding bonuses and assuming you're in work) has kept up with the rate of inflation. Please vote under the category that reflects your annual salary. If paid hourly, weekly or monthly, work out how much you take home roughly each year (before tax). Have you had a pay rise (or if self-employed awarded yourself one) in the last year?

Should pension tax relief be halved to 20% for higher earners?
Pensions are a powerful tax break – allowing and encouraging people to save for retirement from PRE-TAX salary – at a cost to the Treasury of an estimated £35bn/yr. In simple terms… FOR EACH £100 SAVED IT ONLY COSTS A… - Basic 20% rate (salaries c. £11,500+) taxpayer £80 from their pay packet - Higher 40% rate (salaries c. £45,000+) taxpayer £60 from their pay packet - Top 45% rate (salaries c. £150,000+) taxpayer £55 from their pay packet Some argue this is fair as everyone simply saves on paying income tax, others say higher earners do better as their tax gain is at least double. One idea mooted for the Autumn Budget is everyone just gets a 20% tax break, ie, a cut for higher earners, and a saving to the Treasury of over £10bn/yr. Do you think pension tax relief should be cut for higher-rate taxpayers?

Is a degree earnings-enhancing and life-enhancing?
The debate about the cost and value of university rumbles on, so we want to test your ‘big picture’ view. Imagine you were telling a bright 18-year old about whether they should go or not. In general is getting a degree earnings-enhancing and life-enhancing?

Is it time to extend the smoking ban?
There are 1.9m fewer British smokers since the ban was introduced in England, Wales and Northern Ireland a decade ago (11yrs ago in Scotland). The ban makes it illegal to smoke in an enclosed public place and within the workplace, though it doesn't apply to e-cigarettes. Is the ban right and should it be extended more? Please vote for ONE option under the category that applies to you.

Do you support renationalisation of rail, energy, water and more?
This week, Labour reaffirmed its commitment to taking back into public ownership a raft of services which in the 1980s were privatised (usually by floating them on the stock market). Those arguing for privatisation often focus on increased efficiency due to competition. Those against often say firms do what’s best for shareholders, not for consumers. For EACH service below please vote on your view on whether it should be renationalised.

How do you access your bank most often?
With over 750 bank branches being closed this year, the digital revolution is taking over – not just online, but now with a host of app-based banks too. So we wanted to find out how you access your bank and whether it depends on your age. Please select the way you MOST COMMONLY INTERACT with your bank.

The Annual Census
So who are MoneySavers? For the fourth year running, rather than data-mining, we reckon the politest way to find out is just to ask. Plus we think you may like to find out a little bit more about who else uses this site (or more accurately, who uses this site and answers the polls). Welcome to the fourth annual MSE census. Please answer the following 11 questions.

Have you paid for cosmetic surgery/treatments?
So are you all natural, or have you paid out to pimp up your look? We want to see how many people shell out on cosmetic procedures, and which ones. (Of course, some cosmetic surgery is a medical necessity, paid for by the NHS or insurance, so we’re not talking about that.) Please select what type of surgery or treatment you've PAID for under the relevant category.

What puts you off from reclaiming mis-sold PPI?
It was announced this week that the majority of people likely owed compensation for PPI haven’t claimed it yet. There are only two years left for people to claim, and given many could be owed thousands plus a new ruling means just having had PPI makes it likely you were mis-sold, we want to know what is putting people off. So if you've an inkling you've had PPI in the past, what puts you off reclaiming? Please select the single biggest reason which applies to you.

What puts you off / frustrates you about switching energy?
During the election, we were gobsmacked when the man in charge of UK energy policy, business secretary Greg Clark, said: "I haven't switched, one of the reasons is... it is quite a hassle." If he's never switched, how does he know it's too much hassle? Yet unlike Greg Clark, you're not paid to understand switching policy, though it does pay to switch. So we wanted to find out what, if anything, puts you off switching (even if you do it regularly)… So energy bill payers, please select ALL the issues with switching which apply to you.

How common are free flight upgrades?
Are the days of trying to sweet-talk check-in staff to get a free upgrade to premium economy, business, or first class, long gone? Many airlines now sell spare upgrade capacity at the desk. So we want to see how common free upgrades are. Please answer the closest to your situation for flights IN THE PAST TWO YEARS.

Does mental health affect your debts?
We're updating our research on links between mental health issues and debt problems. It's argued either one can cause the other. If you’ve been affected, see our Mental Health & Debt guide. Please answer the question below. NOTE: Please exclude mortgages and student loans from definition of "debt".

How do you rate your bank account's service?
Every six months we ask for your help to track the quality of customer service provided by the big banks. Do you rave about it or are you more than a little bit disgruntled? By comparing your answers with last time, we can see which have got better or worse. So, please vote based on CUSTOMER SERVICE for your main CURRENT account over the last SIX MONTHS. Ignore rates or any other products, or service if it's more than six months old.