Friday 11 December 2015

Finance Fridays – Are you the average family?

Are you the average family? based on the 2015 Office for National Statistics 2015 Family Spending report
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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  1. I have to say for us, the biggest expense has always been rent (which in our case includes heating), and after that food and after that transport. I don't really understand these numbers, but I have never thought of myself as the "average family" and now even the numbers agree :)

  2. Our highest spends are home related but then I think we spend more on food than on travel. I'm not sure that we are average, but it's interesting to read what other people spend on!

  3. I'm shocking and have no idea what we spend most on ... I'd guess it would be my girls clubs and out of school activities. It would be interesting to see what we do spend on average. Something to look at in the New Year

  4. Wow it's such a lot of money isn't it?

    Our biggest expenditures are mortgage and household bills although my husband commutes to work and does spend a lot on petrol.

  5. Its a great idea to keep a weekly expenditure listing as it helps to budget.

  6. I don't think we'll ever be average. We are definitely under on the eating out/hotel/restaurant section so that means we can buy more alcohol, am I right?! ;)

  7. I keep a weekly budget but it is not always easy to stick to I admit

  8. Our transport costs are very high as my husband commutes to London and we have to drive everywhere as there's very little public transport in our village. I think that I have an above average spend on chocolate!

  9. It all adds up quickly doesn't it?

    I'm above average with the chocolate spend I think ;-)

  10. I guess it's the mortgage, although I've never worked out whether it is the largest expense.

  11. Excluding the mortgage and bill it is fuel and food that cost us the most. We are really careful too


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