Household spending shock survey
I do love a good spending survey – my favourites are the ones that tot up the amount of money we allegedly spend on our children until they reach 18. They usually come up with a final bill of hundreds of thousands of pounds, leaving you wondering why you didn’t just settle for a guinea pig instead. (The first time I told my mother I was pregnant her response was, “You do realise it’s not like looking after a guinea pig, don’t you?” But that’s another story…)
Once you’ve read those surveys, you can’t help but breathe a smug sigh of relief at your own thrift when you realise that at least you’re not spending £100 a week on riding and fencing lessons. (One or the other please – there’s no need to be flash.)
But this morning’s news on household spending is a bit scarier. It reveals that the cost of an average household have gone up by almost £4,000 in the last year. No wonder we’re feeling the pinch this January.
According to the Aviva family finances report, which surveyed 16,000 people aged between 18 and 55, the cost of running a home has risen by five times more than the rise in our income.
Although we are managing at last to start saving (the average family now has £1,200 tucked away for emergencies), bizarrely, family debt is also at an all-time high. According to the insurance firm, the typical family is now £10,000 in debt. And we are not talking about mortgages, this is all ‘unsecured borrowing’ – credit cards, bank loans, loans from family and friends and those grim interest-grabbing payday loans.
Not surprisingly all this is causing a great deal of heartache among families, but those who are most likely to worry about their money, or lack of it, are parents of the under-twos – 56% of these parents expressed real worry about their income and almost a third (32%) were having to dip into their savings to make ends meet.