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‘Real Budget’ reveals households still struggling with living costs

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Three quarters of consumers have limited their household spending over the past 12 months as Brits continue to struggle with the rising costs of living.

MoneySupermarket’s ‘Real Budget Report’ also found that more than a third have cut back spending on necessities, while 65% have curbed spending on luxury items.

Worryingly, more than one in ten people (11%) who have made cut backs to necessities have skipped meals to make sure their kids are fed, and nearly one in five (17%) have not paid energy or credit card bills in an attempt to cut back on household spending.

Of the people who have in reined their luxury spending, 70% have cut back on eating out or ordering takeaways, while 60% have cut back on days or nights out, and 59% have cut back on treats for themselves. Nearly half (45%) have cut back on holidays, and 17% have cancelled a membership subscription such as the gym.

In a bid to increase their household income, the research found 29% have sold items on eBay or at a car boot sale, while 23% have resorted to taking money out of their savings, and 16% have started doing overtime at work.

A third of people (34%) are concerned about their finances, and don’t see things getting better any time soon. A further 16% are concerned they won’t be able to meet their bill repayments, and 12% worry they won’t be able to provide for their family.

Household ‘austerity measures’ look set to continue for the remainder of 2013, with 69% of people still planning to cut back in some way over the next 12 months.

Clare Francis, editor-in-chief at MoneySupermarket, said: “Household finances are taking a battering from all sides at the moment. Average incomes have fallen in real terms over the past four years, the cost of heating our homes continues to rise and food prices and motoring costs are also taking their toll on family budgets. As a result, it is not only the Chancellor who has a fight on his hands to keep the nation’s head above the water – households are having to do likewise and some are making drastic cuts just to get by.”