Welcome to this week's Finance Fridays. Last week we were looking at mobile phone data charges and this week it's about what constitutes an average family spend. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released their 2015 Family Spending report which gives details of what people are spending their money on week in and week out. So let's have a look at what the average UK household paid out in 2014.
The report showed that the average weekly household expenditure was £531.30 in 2014. The highest single category was transport costs at £74.80 a week or 14% of all expenditure. This may change for next year's review as the cost of fuel has gone down and is predicted to go down further. After transport comes housing, fuel and power at £72.70 a week. This figure doesn't include mortgage interest payments or council tax/domestic rates. If you do add in mortgage and rent costs then this does make it the biggest single expenditure however of course not all households do pay mortgages which is why they aren't included in the overall average figure. For those who have mortgages the average weekly cost is £143.80 and for those renting property is it £90.20.
Going down the expenditure list it seems we generally spend more on recreation and culture at £68.80 per week than we do on food and non-alcoholic drinks at £58.80 per week. It seems we don't mind cutting back on food expenditure if it means we can still afford to go on holiday, go to sporting events and watch television and films at the cinema.
Going down the list we have restaurants and hotels coming in at £42.50 a week but in order to look the part for eating out we only spend £23.70 a week on clothing and footwear. Further down the list there's £12.30 a week on alcoholic drinks, tobacco and narcotics but only £7.10 on health; this of course wouldn't pay for a single prescription charge in England which is now £8.20. My favourite individual item on the list was chocolate at £1.90 per week. I feel obliged to up my weekly spend on it as no one likes to be be below average do they?
Do you agree with these costs? Are you the average family? What are the main things you spend your money on?
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I'll share my favourites with you next week so we can all get our finances in order!