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Given predictions of rising inflation and increased household costs, it's perhaps not surprising that 27% of Brits believe their financial situation will worsen this year, especially as the festive season has left 17% in average debt of £1,142.
It's not just those in debt who are worried, though, as the research, conducted by VoucherCodes.co.uk in collaboration with YouGov, revealed that just 17% of respondents feel their financial situation will improve this year. The top concerns are that food shopping will get more expensive, with 68% worrying about this, and essential household bills will go up, a worry for 67% of respondents. And with some companies warning of exactly that, these worries are by no means unfounded.
Indeed, research by Lloyds Bank has revealed that essential spending has risen by the biggest amount since September 2013, at a rate of 1.8% in December, following three other consecutive months of growth. Overall, spending on groceries leapt up by 2.9% year-on-year, with 56% of people planning to cut back on non-essential spending as a result.
Other top worries found by VoucherCodes.co.uk are that running a car will get more expensive (41%) – in line with reports of rising fuel prices, and a 9% year-on-year rise in December as reported by Lloyds Bank – rent increases (20%), commuter cost increases (20%) and the worry that Brexit will have a negative impact on job prospects (16%).
In line with their top worries, respondents expect to have £218 less to spend every month this year, compared with last year – down from £689 per month in 2016 to an expected £471 this year, equalling a drop of 32%. This does not mean, however, that people aren't planning to make the most of what they have left, with 26% stating they plan to spend their disposable income on breaks away this year.
Other priorities are paying off personal debt (12%), buying a car (6%) and home renovations (6%). To help with these goals, and stretch their remaining pennies a bit, 13% of respondents are planning to cut back on going out for meals, while 8% are willing to cut back on groceries to still be able to go on holiday or buy a car, among other things.
Are you worried about your financial future? Getting rid of debts should always be a first priority, with taking out a 0% balance transfer credit card or a personal loan the main ways to consolidate and simplify your debts. After that, consider opening a savings account, to create an emergency fund that can see you through the difficult times ahead. And if you're looking to decrease your shopping bill, you could see if there are vouchers that can help you.
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