- TotallyMoney’s Credit Spending Index reveals the nation is spending 46% more on credit cards compared to ten years ago.
- 56% of parents would rather save for a family holiday than clothing for children and school equipment and trips.
- 78% of parents worry about their financial situation at least once a month
Getting kids back to school means buying new P.E. kits, geometry sets, and school uniforms, 64% of parents, however, are frequently concerned about being able to afford their bills – so how are parents managing to cope with their cash flow, bills, and outgoings? The last ten years have been filled with financial uncertainty, from the market crash to the housing bubble, these have affected all forms of spending habits such as the price of petrol to the price of school lunches.
Families are becoming more frugal when it comes to watching their pennies. TotallyMoney’s new research explores spending over the past decade, tracking data on consumer behavior, to reveal how parents have been managing their cash and paying their bills.
Younger Families Rely the Most on Credit Card Spending
Although the number of credit cards and accounts in circulation has decreased by 10% over the past decade, the number of purchases made have risen by 25%. Totally Money’s study reveals that the total value of credit card purchases has increased by a worryingly high 46%. When parents were asked if they feel they rely too heavily on their credit cards, 13% agreed. This agreement peaked to just under one out of five parents with young families (those who have children under the age of three).
Parents Prioritize Holiday Saving
The survey also revealed that a shocking 78% of parents worry about their financial situation on a monthly basis, with 28% worrying daily. However, despite this, an alarming 56% of parents prioritize saving for their family holiday over clothing for their children, as well as school equipment and school trips.
Credit Card Spending
With just over 75% of parents owning a credit card, 36% rely on their credit card to get them through the month – spending an average of £643 per month. The study also unveiled younger families might worry the most but are evidently savvier when it comes to their pennies; spending the least on their credit cards per month (£551). However, whilst parents with children aged between eight and twelve have the highest amount of disposable income, an average of £315 left at the end month, it seems the same group tend to be the most reliant on their credit cards; averagely spending £742 per month.
44% of parents say they find themselves concerned about being able to afford their bills every month. This could be accredited to the increase in the cost of living as well as inflation compared to the national average salary of £27,600 – £1,200 less than the national average weekly household spend of £554.20, equating to a yearly figure of £28,818.
Joe Gardiner, Head of Brand and Communications at TotallyMoney, comments, “It’s no secret that the way British people are spending their money has changed over the years. Although outstanding personal loans per household have fallen by 13%, the number of purchases has risen by 25%, which can be accredited to the difference of 4% between how much people are spending yearly and the average national wage.”
“Brits are having to carefully consider what they deem to be important in order to make their income stretch even further. When asked what measures people put in place to assure they rely on your credit cards and/or overdrafts, it was really encouraging to hear the majority of people surveyed replied that they’re actively taking control of their finances by keeping an eye on unnecessary spending and budgeting in advance. ”
To view the full tool ‘The Evolution of British Spending’ click here to discover more.
- UK cost of living for a four-person family is £60,000 per year – 103 per cent of average household income
- UK housing and utility costs have risen by 13 per cent1
- The global study found the most affordable expat country for families is Sweden
Today, new research by leading price comparison website MoneySuperMarket reveals that the UK is the most expensive location to raise a family. The running costs associated with a four-person family in the UK exceeded those of Spain, USA, Germany and Sweden due to the high costs of rent, utility bills and groceries2.
The data is based on the average monthly cost of property, utility bills and grocery shopping for a family with two children in 10 locations. These locations are some of the most popular destinations for the British public to emigrate to. MoneySuperMarket also ranked the costs against the countries’ average full time salary, to reveal the percentage of salary two working adults must put towards household expenses. In the UK, the average cost of a four-person family is more than twice the combined total of two adults’ salaries4.
Popular expat destinations with lower living costs
With lower utility bills (£94.41 per month), heavily subsidised pre-school costs (£230.34) and a standard average monthly rent of £1,149.40, Sweden is the only country analysed where a single parent can comfortably afford to have two children, working out as 87 per cent of the average working salary5. Based on two adults with two children it’s even more affordable, eating into less than half (43 per cent) of the combined salaries.
The full ranking of the affordable global cities to raise a family, including a breakdown of all metrics, can be seen below:
Global cost of raising a four-person family
Changing costs over time
On average, the weekly food shop has lowered in price for families over the last 16 years, from £236 to £232. However, spending on both housing and utilities, and household goods and services, has increased by 11 per cent overall. In 2001, the average monthly cost of housing and utilities per person in the UK was £277.77, but by 2017 this figure had risen by 13 per cent to £314.82. Due to these rises, the cost of raising a family in the UK has become more expensive.
For more information on the most affordable countries to move to, check out the MoneySuperMarket report around the changes in UK household spending over time.