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According to new research from cashback website Quidco, spending just half an hour every week planning a careful budget could save you £936 every year.

At a time when many households across the UK are feeling the pinch when it comes to their finances, the figures show that the average person could be £18 a week better off by following some straightforward money-saving steps.

And it seems that in the current climate, many of us are getting savvier when it comes to being frugal with our finances. Indeed, 89% of us aren't embarrassed about using vouchers and discount coupons when paying for things, compared with just 38% before the recession.

72% of people said they regularly collect reward points in order to save money and boost their bank balance. Taking a packed lunch to work (31%), hunting for bargains in charity shops (25%) and growing vegetables (22%) were also found to be popular ways of making cutbacks.

Furthermore, people with smartphones have turned to money-saving 'apps' to help them rein in their spending - with 16% of people using them regularly. All in all, just 12% of people think that being frugal is 'uncool' - and 71% even believe that flashing the cash is 'inconsiderate' to people around them.

A spokesperson for thinkbanking said: "Planning a careful budget can be a great way of cutting back on your outgoings and giving your finances a boost. If you want to go that extra step, a budgeting bank account could be a useful way of making sure you don't overspend the money you need for your essentials, such as food and bills.

"For example, our account comes with a Money Manager service, so your spending money will be separated from your bill money every month. This could help you stick to your budget and stay on track of your finances."

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