Over the past 12 months there has been a significant media focus on the action that households have been taking in response to changes in the cost of living. We reviewed a sample of these and in this year’s survey we decided to put some numbers behind each action by asking people what they had done in the last three months because of pressure on their household finances.
The first point to make is that most people are doing something, and this includes people who have no sign of having any debt problems. Eating out less and having fewer takeaways is something many people are doing. Only 20% said that they had not taken any of the 22 money saving measures that we asked about.
Driving less and saving money on food shopping are also actions that cut across different levels of indebtedness. However, a third (32%) of people who need debt advice are taking stronger action by having a firmly fixed grocery budget that they don’t go over.
There are other actions that make people who need debt advice stand out from the rest of UK population. More of them are cutting back on household energy, by reducing gas and electricity usage and, to a lesser extent, burning coal, wood or smokeless fuel instead. Around a quarter have cut back on using or sold vehicles and a fifth are using a food bank