Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

One in four raid savings to meet rising costs

Lana Clements
Written By:
Lana Clements

A quarter of households are spending their savings as the cost of living bites, research has found.


Almost one in three said they found it harder to make ends meet in the three months to April, according to a survey by investment and pension firm Hargreaves Lansdown.

More than one in five reported cutting back on essentials, while a quarter of those polled said they had paid less into savings.

Just under one in 10 borrowed money formally and 6% borrowed from family or friends.

Households were most likely to shop around more or cut back on luxuries to cope with rising costs.

Inflation hit 6.2% in February but is expected to top an eye-watering 8% later this year, squeezing household budgets across the UK.

Energy bills, food and drink, petrol and rent (among tenants) are the biggest costs hurting finances.

Women were particularly likely to notice price rises across the board, with two thirds of saying they were affected by the rising cost of food and drink, compared to just half of men.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “More than one in 20 people have had to make major lifestyle changes.

“This can be incredibly difficult, but it can also be very effective. It can include downsizing or moving to a cheaper area, or cutting out things like a car or travel, or expensive hobbies and habits. It means you can cut your costs in one fell swoop, rather than having to make a million tiny cuts. It’s not something everyone can factor into their lives, but shouldn’t be ruled out until you’ve considered it carefully.

“When you’ve made all the cuts you can possibly manage, if you’re still facing an impossible challenge, it’s vital to get help as soon as you can.”

Charities including StepChange and Citizens Advice provide free help on managing debts.