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Cost of living key concern post-Brexit

Cost of living key concern post-Brexit

Category: Money

Updated: 14/09/2016
First Published: 14/09/2016

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

While money concerns often weigh heavily on people's minds, those concerns could well have become even more pressing following the EU referendum. Indeed, new research from Together shows that the cost of living is the biggest worry for UK consumers following the UK's decision to leave the EU, cited by 60% of respondents, with many concerned about what could happen to their finances as a result.

Next on the list of concerns was job security, cited by 30% of respondents, while 25% were concerned that property prices could fall. Many had similar concerns relating to the housing market, particularly when it comes to accessing finance: 31% worried that they won't be able to borrow as much from their bank or building society, and nearly a third believed it will be harder to secure a mortgage in general following the vote.

A further 32% think they'll face more stringent credit checks as a result, which makes it more important than ever to be in control of your budget and make sure your credit score is in check.

It's encouraging to see that the majority of people still have confidence in the value of their property, despite previous concerns that house prices could suffer following a vote to leave the EU. For the time being, prices appear to be holding up, but the survey shows that uncertainty remains – particularly around general living costs.

What about inflation?

The fact that inflation hasn't ramped up should provide some consolation to those worrying about the rising cost of living. Yesterday's announcement came as something of a surprise, with economists largely predicting that inflation (and therefore prices) would rise as a result of the weak pound since the vote, so the fact that it hasn't will come as welcome news to many.

Indeed, the ONS data revealed that, while the cost of food prices and air fares rose in the year to August, this was offset by falls in hotel accommodation prices and the cost of motor fuels. The prices of alcohol, clothing and footwear also only rose marginally – at least at a far slower pace than a year ago – which helped ensure that annual inflation remained at 0.6%.

But if you're worried about the cost of living from now on, what can you do about it? Well, you'll probably want to start by reading our tips to give your bank balance a boost (such as by comparing gas and electricity providers or switching current accounts), and then it's all about making sure you're prepared. If you build up a suitable emergency fund you'll have a valuable financial buffer should prices start to edge up, so check out the top savings accounts and start building your reserves.

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.