UK households ‘tighten their belts to save money’

Households in the UK spent an average of £489 a week during 2012.

Newly-released research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveale…

Households in the UK spent an average of £489 a week during 2012.

Newly-released research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed savvy consumers cut back on non-essentials during the 12 months as they sought to make ends meet.

The latest report shows that since David Cameron swept into power in 2010, the typical family has reduced its weekly outgoings by £18.40 in an effort to stave off debt worries. Furthermore, back in 2006 before the recession took hold, typical outgoings were as high as £526.

In terms of how people are spending their money, housing (excluding mortgages), fuel and power, transport, and recreation and culture were the main areas. 

During the 2010-12 period, four regions recorded a household spend higher than the UK average – London, the south-east, the east and the south-west.

Trades Union Congress general secretary Frances O'Grady does not think the findings are surprising, as Britons are currently dealing with the "tightest squeeze on living standards in a generation".

"Spending on food, transport and leisure activities [are] all falling. At the same time the cost of things that families can't control, like rent and fuel bills, continue to rise and put ever more pressure on household budgets," she added.

The ONS' figures demonstrate the difficult situation facing families in the UK, as the harsh winters of 2011 and 2012 meant they could not afford to scrimp on heating, regardless of their personal financial circumstances. 

In 2012, households parted with an average of £10.80 on electricity and £10.60 on gas, a significant sum when scaled up over the course of a year. This situation is set to get worse for consumers as all of the big six energy companies are increasing or have increased their tariffs. 

If people are struggling to service their arrears, they should consider a debt management solution, as this will allow them to reduce their monthly repayments to a more manageable amount. 

By James Francis 

Tell others:

shortlink