- New cost of living research turns the spotlight on wide variations in rising costs across the UK
- London is the worst hit with household bills spiking by the equivalent of nearly £7,000 a year — while Glasgow, Cardiff and Sheffield also saw large increases in household spending
- Although rises in energy and food costs have peaked, the full impact of interest rate rises is yet to come
London, Glasgow and Cardiff have recorded the highest spikes in monthly household outgoings across the UK, according to cost of living data from mutual life, pensions and investment provider, Royal London. Spending habits across five key areas: housing, energy, food, childcare, and pets of 4,000 UK adults, were analysed to show the extent to which outgoings have risen in the year to February, depending where in the UK you live.
Nationally, the average increase in monthly household bills stood at £441, although spending increased most in London (£559), Glasgow (£500), Cardiff (£476) and Sheffield (£442).
A sharp rise in housing costs following the Bank of England’s repeated interest rate rises was among the factors weighing on household budgets, along with higher food and energy bills.
The research found that while households in London saw a large jump in housing and energy costs, people in Glasgow reported the biggest increase in food costs. This, combined with sharply higher energy costs meant that, outside of London, Glasgow experienced the largest monthly increase in household bills.
Cities which saw below average rises in bills included Manchester (£408), Birmingham (£404), Liverpool (£398), Plymouth (£331), Bristol (£344) and Norwich (£368).
Belfast, with its relatively cheap accommodation, saw the smallest change in monthly outgoings, with bills rising by £286 a month for a typical household. Housing cost increases in the Northern Ireland capital were only around half the London figure (£69 vs £120) while the jump in food bills was 25% less (£103 vs £138).
While food and energy prices may now have peaked, housing costs are expected to continue rising with families nearing the end of cheap fixed rate mortgages facing the biggest rises.
Sarah Pennells, Consumer Finance Specialist at Royal London, said:
“Our research reveals just how much extra people are paying as a result of the cost of living crisis and the extent that this varies around the UK. Food and energy prices are expected to ease in the months ahead, however, prices for many staples have already risen sharply, so even if inflation falls, many people will struggle to make their budget stretch.
“People told us that cutting back on takeaways and meals out, buying cheaper food and turning down the heating were the most effective ways of saving money. However, we know that many have already made these cutbacks and, with wages not keeping pace with inflation, are finding it increasingly hard to make their money last.
“If you are struggling to pay your bills, contact the company you owe money to, whether that’s an energy provider or your mortgage lender. If you owe money to several companies or you’d like some help with your money, get in touch with a debt advice charity, which can give you free advice, or the government-backed impartial MoneyHelper organisation.”
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