One of my nephews helped my brother and me chop and remove a thick, nasty-looking fir tree branch threatening to fall square onto an adjacent wooden fence in our garden last month. It took us several hours as the branch, perhaps 20 feet in length, initially dangled precariously some 30 feet above our heads.

An innocuous light drizzle fell when we started, but even as the rain became progressively heavier there was no question of anyone suggesting we call it a day – a collective, if quiet, display of determination which guaranteed a strong sense of inter-generational satisfaction and deserved back-slapping once we lowered the final piece of timber to the ground. Soaked, we retired indoors for a well-earned cuppa and a change of clothes.

As we warmed up drinking our tea and wading hungrily into the chocolate digestives, the conversation turned to the variable cost of subscription television and the quality of various sports channels, absolutely pivotal to the success of the subscription model. I was chuffed to add my two-pence-worth after recently persuading our cable TV supplier of more than a decade to reduce the monthly cost and throw in a few extras to boot.

The monthly subscription had effectively halved, I announced with great pleasure, a revelation which drew an approving nod from my kid brother and an even better tale of money saving from the nephew. Same package deal, same supplier, but he had nailed it on behalf of his mother, my sister, for nearly 40% less than I had. It was almost enough to put me off my chocolate digestive.

My brother and I demanded further information. Turns out the nephew had assembled up-to-date pricing information from a number of price comparison websites and then called the cable TV company with what sounded like a well-researched, but take-it-or-leave-it proposal. Keen to retain as many subscribers as they can, the company relented, agreeing to a two-year extension to their existing deal at a much lower price.

There are quite a few millennials within our immediate family and I’m fortunate to see lots of them. It’s no surprise that the nephew struck a good deal on behalf of his mother? For those of us who occasionally struggle to differentiate our apps from our elbow, such impressive resourcefulness is indicative of a savvier generation. Today’s millennials are less likely to be ripped off because their constantly-available mobile phones can update them on better deals in seconds.

The following weekend, the sister in question celebrated her birthday with a small party which was particularly well attended by millennials. It presented an opportunity for me to express admiration for her son’s role in negotiating an improved TV subscription deal. Turns out the nephew has also recently bagged a better mobile phone deal as well as saving more than £80 on my sister’s home insurance, all a result of comparing prices online.

In total, my sister reckons her son has secured annual savings exceeding £350 over the past month, a sum not to be sneezed at when we consider the uncertainty surrounding inflation, the prospect of a further rise in interest rates and, as the latest Chancellor told us earlier this week, a restriction on the energy price cap, now scheduled to run until April 2023.

In a very short period of time, it feels as though the whole country has become switched on to switching off energy-consuming equipment around the house, examining whether those £30-a-month subscriptions are worthwhile and becoming avid users of price comparison websites.

Those of us who recall the early 1970s, when OPEC trebled the price of oil, inflation reached 26%, unemployment soared, consumer demand plummeted and the UK suffered from a commercial property bubble, a secondary banking crisis, a falling pound and prolonged periods of industrial unrest, may pronounce that we’ve seen it all before. We have, but I’m mightily impressed with the reaction of younger people to the 2022 version of 1973, which suggests we’ll overcome our current difficulties as we did almost half a century ago.

For more financial advice, check out Peter Sharkey’s regular blog, The Week In Numbers.

This column is for general information only and cannot be relied on as financial advice for individuals. Consult your professional adviser.