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Today is ‘bill free day’

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Thursday 26 October is ‘bill free day’ – the date by which the average UK household will have earned enough to cover all of their bills.

Depressingly, the average Brits works 82% of the year just to cover their household bills – that’s 299 days of the year. Over a third (35%) admit they’re only just managing to cope with rising costs.

A poll of 2,000 commissioned by comparison site GoCompare found that a fifth (19%) said they are making cutbacks on non-essentials while 60% said they intended to spend less on Christmas this year as the higher cost of living starts to bite.

Given the combination of falling wages and higher prices, Britain’s JAMs (Just About Managing) are feeling the pressure. Those living in Wales are impacted the most as 44% admit they are just managing to meet household bills. In Northern Ireland the figure is 40% while in Scotland, it’s 37%.

As ‘bill free day’ falls today, this means that for the rest of the year, theoretically families can spend their money on non-essentials, such as holidays, travel, treats, meals out, and of course, Christmas.

Georgie Frost, head of consumer affairs at GoCompare, said ‘bill free’ day highlights just how much of what we earn goes towards paying the bills.

“By getting people to think about their notional ‘bill free day’ we hope that they will look at where the majority of their money goes and think about how they can make small changes to free up more cash for the things they really want to be doing.

“We all face bills that we have little control over, like council tax, water rates, income tax, fuel for our cars or tickets for our day-to-day commute, but there are many that we can, and should, tackle ourselves. Insurance policies, energy tariffs, mortgages, our weekly grocery shop, broadband packages, debt repayments – some of these are quick and easy to save money on, others take a bit more time, but it’s well worth your while to see if you can trim these back – who wants to spend more on these things than is necessary, after all?”

Frost added that next year, the aim is to move this date back closer to September. If the average household reduced their bills by £25 a week, this could bring the ‘bill free day’ forward by a fortnight.

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