The everyday expenses we just can’t give up

Whether it’s taking stock of our monthly outgoings or reviewing accumulated debt, sorting out our finances can be a daunting prospect – which is why it is often put on the backburner.

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Insurer Legal & General says more than two in three (69%) people have never asked for help with their personal finances and one in 10 (9%) say they lacked confidence, knowledge or were too embarrassed to ask for help.

Similarly, a third (33%) say they would use their savings to cover their non-essentials if they experienced a long-term drop in their income, rather than cut back on expenditure.

Check out the top-15, in order of preference, of non-negotiable spending items Brits won’t do without:

  1. Internet (51%)
  2. Fresh food rather than tinned or frozen (40%)
  3. Having a car (37%)
  4. Mobile phone (36%)
  5. Home insurance costs (26%)
  6. TV subscription, like Sky or Virgin Media (17%)
  7. Pet costs (quality food, pet insurance etc.) (13%)
  8. Holidays/ minibreaks (12%)
  9. Personal care (hairdresser/barber, nails) (11%)
  10. Monthly contributions towards a pension (10%)
  11. Cigarettes (9%)
  12. Shopping for new clothes (9%)
  13. Leisure activities and hobbies (8%)
  14. Regularly setting aside money for savings (8%)
  15. Gym membership (7%)


For the bank of mum and dad it turns out that budgeting is also affected by the powers of persuasion of the little ones. Two in five parents (43%) admit their children impact their budgeting plans, and one in ten (10%) say they have succumbed to ‘pester power’ just to keep the peace.

Parents hoping to avoid forking out on pocket money until the kids hit their teens, think again! Budget account provider Think Money found that ‘pester power’ starts as early as age four, with one in three pre-school children receiving a weekly allowance.

While we may be unwilling to cut back on our non-negotiables, there are ways to make savings. Check out three ways to improve your finances without ostracizing yourself from the rest of the world… and without narking off the kids.

Check out the Home Bill Checker: Save money on your household bills by having a peek at the average cost of household bills in your area. Click here to see if you’re paying over the odds for your energy, home insurance or broadband.

Take up free debt advice:  For free and impartial help on how to tackle your debt or how to budget more effectively, visit the Money Advice Service or the Citizens Advice Bureau. The Money Advice Service offers an easy-to-use budget planner as well as a quick debt health test to help you assess your finances.

Cash in on a cashback current account:  If you’re unwilling to face the wrath of the kids by cancelling their Disney films subscription, some current accounts offer cashback for bill payments. For example, Santander’s 123 Current Account offers 3% cashback on mobile, home phone, broadband and paid-for TV packages when paid out by direct debit.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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