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Are household bills getting too much?

Are household bills getting too much?

Category: Money

Updated: 31/01/2014
First Published: 31/01/2014

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

If your bills seem to only ever be on the rise, you're not alone. Research by Bacs Payment Schemes has revealed that household and personal bills amounted to a whopping £12,047 last year, with household bills alone coming in at an average of £8,170.

Despite this being a big increase on the £5,834 household bill total seen in 2007, the overall figure is broadly the same as recorded in 2012 (£8,202) – indicating that total bill expenditure is perhaps levelling out. In even better news the amount being spent on personal bills actually fell slightly last year, dropping to
£3,877 from £4,156.

The Bacs Family Finance Tracker, which analyses the spending habits of British adults, also noted distinct regional variations, with those in the South spending the highest proportion of their income on bills (a total of £13,200) while those in Wales spent significantly less, with the average figure being £10,100.

The advice from Bacs is to set up Direct Debits where possible, potentially saving money and helping to spread the cost of vital bills.

Mike Hutchinson, Bacs head of marketing, said: "Household bill levels appear to have levelled out, and people seem to be making savings where they can, especially when it comes to personal commitments.

"But regular bill payments still account for a huge chunk of the household budget… Splitting costs across the year could relieve some of the strain on hard-pressed family purses and, with the discounts offered from many billers and service providers for paying by Direct Debit, there's an opportunity to save some vital pounds."

Despite bills putting a drain on household finances, it isn't all doom and gloom. Another report released today has shown that UK consumers are actually more optimistic than they have been in six years, with the GfK Consumer Confidence Index finding that respondents felt broadly positive about the economy as well as their own finances for the next year.

What next?

Make the most of increased optimism and potentially cut your household bills in the process. Set up a savings account, compare gas and electricity tariffs and find better loan, mortgage or credit card deals to see how much you could save.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.