The results of our Christmas Quiz are in, shedding light on everything from the best bits about policing at this time of year to your resolutions for 2022.
Our annual Christmas Quiz has become something of a tradition here at Metfriendly. We're happy to announce this year's results are now in and, once again, they make for fascinating and often hilarious reading.
We quizzed you on everything from the best and worst things about being a Police Officer at Christmas to unusual festive traditions from around the world. We also asked you to share your best Christmas stories and top savings tips, which yielded some fantastic responses.
So without further ado, let's dive into the results.
It's all about the camaraderie at Christmas
Our survey clearly showed that Police Officers and Staff rely on each other to get through the toughest and busiest times. Exactly half of you said the best thing about working for the Police at Christmas is the camaraderie with your colleagues.
Double pay on bank holidays and coming home at the end of a long, cold shift were named as the next best parts of the job at this time of year. Gift buying among coppers clearly leaves something to be desired, though - only 4% of you said getting presents from workmates is your favourite thing about working at Christmas!
When it comes to the parts of policing at this time of year that you could do without, your answers were pretty evenly split between having to work while other people are enjoying time off, which got the most responses, followed by late shifts on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, and dealing with parties that get out of hand. Here's hoping there won't be too many of those this year.
Managing your money and making plans
There's no doubt this time of year can be tough on the wallet, but 35% of our quiz respondents told us they usually have enough money in their account to cover their higher spending. Starting to save a couple of months in advance and trying to be more careful with money in December are the most common ways that you cover the costs of the festive period.
Remember, if you want to be more prepared for times when your finances are likely to be stretched, there are always things you can do, like starting a monthly savings plan and making regular contributions to it. Even small amounts will add up nicely over the course of a year or more. If you're using a Metfriendly Monthly Savings ISA, just make sure your money is invested in the plan for two years or more to avoid an early redemption charge.
We were impressed to see how organised you are when it comes to present buying, with a whopping 74% of you getting it done as early as possible. However, nearly one in five (18%) admitted to leaving it to the last minute and then panicking. If there are still some of you out there who haven't bought this year's presents yet, you'd better get on with it!
It was also great to see that 33% of our respondents had kept to the new year's resolutions they made for 2021, while 26% were still working on it. Just over a fifth (21%) of you were optimistic about making changes in 2022.
On the subject of plans for next year, 45% of you said you'll be saving up for the good things in life, like a holiday or a new car. And quite right too - you deserve it! Take a look at our blog on what you can do to make saving towards those big purchases a bit easier.
Budgeting and cutting back on spending came a close second on the list of resolutions for 2022, followed by saving up to buy a home.
One of the most emphatic results came in response to the question of what you would most like to see in 2022. A massive 83% of you put an inflation-matching increase in Police pay at the top of your Christmas wishlist. This was followed by new benefits and rewards for Officers and Staff and more support for mental health.
We certainly couldn't fault you on your festive trivia this year. More than half (54%) of you knew that 'Jingle Bells' was the first Christmas song played in space, 66% rightly said Sgt Al Powell was the name of John McClane's cop buddy in 'Die Hard', and 52% correctly picked out ladies dancing as the gift given on the ninth day of Christmas.
What's more, 46% of you correctly identified Japanese people eating McDonald's as the strange Christmas tradition that wasn't true. (Fun fact, fact fans: it's actually KFC they have a fondness for in Japan at this time of year!)
It seems there are lots of lovers of classic Christmas stories out there, as an impressive 74% of you knew the dog in 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' is named Max. This question was to celebrate Metfriendly's 2022 calendar raising money for the London Retired Police Dogs Trust (LRPD), which is now available to buy on the LRPD website.
Your best story and savings tip
Finally, we asked you to share your best Christmas policing stories and savings tips to be in with a chance of winning a £50 Amazon voucher, and we got some amazing responses.
There were dozens of hilarious, surprising and often heartwarming stories, including everything from refereeing a fight between 50 Santas to herding swans down a high street in east London.
But the prize went to the Officer who told us about the time they found themselves in a hospital at 4:00am on Christmas Eve guarding an arrested man who was suspected to have had a heart attack and lost consciousness. To keep their spirits up, the Officer and their colleagues started singing the Shakin' Stevens classic 'Merry Christmas Everyone', and miraculously, the detainee not only regained consciousness but began tapping his feet and then joined in with the festive singalong! Isn't it amazing what a good Christmas song can do?
As for the savings tips, there were hundreds of great ones, but our pick for the best of all was to put money aside as soon as you get paid, rather than waiting to see what you have left over after a month's bills and spending.
You can make this as easy as possible with salary deduction (Met Officers & Staff and City of London Officers only currently), so your savings come straight out of your pay packet every month without you having to do anything or by setting up a direct debit to transfer an amount into savings at the same time each month. Find out more about saving regularly with Metfriendly.
It really was a pleasure to read through your quiz answers and survey responses, so an enormous thank you to everyone who took part.
From everyone here at Metfriendly, we wish you a safe (and hopefully quiet!) festive season and a very happy new year.
If you would like to talk to us over the festive period about starting a savings plan, please note our opening hours.