New research shows cost of living ‘less squeezed’ than official data suggested

Household bills

New research has suggested that household bills are rising more slowly than the rate of inflation.

MoneySavingExpert.com, investigated the total sum of unavoidable costs of living, including rent, utility bills and council tax.

MSE took into account roughly 40 different costs into account which it claims the average UK household is likely to face each month.

Despite the research showing just a small rise in the overall cost of running a household in the UK, it still shows a sharp increase in certain areas.

The consumer finance website deduced that costs have risen by 2.1 per cent over the last year, which is in line with average earnings growth and lower than the 2.6 per cent rise in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

Research is purely focused on bills rather than expenses such as food, and has taken out items in the Consumer Prices Index that households don’t usually buy, including rugs, door handles and knitting wool.

In the year leading up to July, average energy costs increased by 5.1 per cent, whilst insurance costs rose by 7.6 per cent.

Car and travel insurance saw the biggest rise, with 12.8 per cent and 12.4 per cent respectively.

The data also showed that council tax rose by 3.8 per cent on average, and the cost of rent by one per cent.

Other bills have dropped in the last year, with a 1.2 per cent fall for mobile phone bills and a 1 per cent decline in financial services.

Guy Anker, managing editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said:  “It’s cold comfort for many, but there are things you can do to ease the pinch.”

“The average home can save £300 a year by switching energy provider, you can tackle sky-high insurance costs with a quick comparison, and we know that many make huge savings by haggling with their broadband, phone and TV providers,” he said.

“Spending just a few hours on your outgoings can save hundreds, if not thousands, so it’s well worth doing as costs keep rising.”

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