Asda Money highlights recent official figures which show that more than a third of Brits were unable to meet unexpected expenses in 20111, as the economic climate continued to take a toll on consumers’ finances.
The data from the Office of National Statistics showed that the number of people in the UK who could not meet unexpected bills climbed from a figure of 26.6% in 2007 to 36.6% in 2011.
The squeeze on household budgets has meant that consumers have also had to cut back on luxuries such as their annual holidays, with almost a third (29.7%) admitting that they could not afford a holiday in 2011, up from a lower figure of 21.4% in 2007.
Cost cutting measures also extended to the family car, with those forgoing a new set of wheels climbing from 5.3% to 6.3% between 2005 and 2011.
More serious still was the fact that an increasing number of UK households were struggling to heat their homes to an adequate level (rising from 5.8% to 6.5% between 2005 and 2011).
In light of these figures, Asda Money reveals how households could work to make cost savings.
Create a budget
Creating a budget for all areas of household spending, from food and travel to energy bills, will help to ensure that your outgoings do not exceed your income, and that your expenditure is in line with what you can reasonably afford. There are a number of online budgeting tools that can help in this process.
Make the most of discount vouchers
It is always worth checking if there are any discount vouchers available for the restaurant or attraction that you are planning to visit with your family, as this could stand to make you savings to put towards other expenses. With the advent of smartphones and tablets searching for these deals has never been easier.
Get the best deal on your financial products
Whether you are considering opening a savings account to build up a nest egg for you and your family or making the move to apply for a credit card to take advantage of features such as interest-free periods or cashback offers, it’s important that you shop around to find the best deal for your individual needs.
- Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures (released in 2012): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/9808049/17-million-cant-pay-unexpected-bills.html