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Everyday post-pandemic perks scaled back to curb outgoings

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

One in six people have given up certain perks or cancelled subscriptions and policies since the start of the year to counter the rising cost of living.

More than eight million UK adults have had to scale back their spending to meet rising bills since the start of 2022.

And for more than half of Brits (57%), while they haven’t yet been forced to give up anything, they said they will need to do so soon to manage the cost-of-living crisis.

The research from protection and pension firm MetLife UK revealed that for two in five (40%), they would give up everyday perks such as eating lunch out and buying coffees to prioritise paying for necessities.

Just over a third would give up luxury items such as household goods, home furnishings and clothing (37%) while 34% said they would scrap holidays and day trips.

For 32%, socialising would face the chop, while 28% said they would cut entertainment subscriptions, while a quarter said hair and beauty treatments would go.

MetLife also found that Brits would end gym memberships, food subscription services and season tickets for sporting events if necessary.

However, the representative poll of 3,000 showed Brits are reluctant to give up their car (8%), phone (7%), as well as life and health insurance/income protection and private school fees.

Brits weigh up outgoings

Rich Horner, head of individual protection at MetLife UK, said: “It’s a particularly difficult time for consumers, with many seeing their personal finances severely under pressure. Highest inflation in 30 years, rising energy prices, fuel bills and food costs are all stopping our money from going further each month. Finding the funds to pay for daily essentials has already pushed Brits to weigh up their outgoings and think about where they can cut back. While some have already cutback wherever they can, even more of us are braced to do so in the months ahead.

“Daily perks such as coffees, self-care such as hair appointments and socialising were found to be some of the first things to go when trying to save money. While they shouldn’t be prioritised at a difficult time financially, small treats can have a positive impact on our wellbeing and give us all something to look forward to amidst what can feel like a very gloomy time.

“It’s positive to see that consumers remain committed to holding life insurance and income protection policies as this can reap much greater rewards with minimal upfront costs. Whilst not a tangible product, income protection gives you the peace of mind that should the worst happen your income is protected.”