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Brits cutting back as prices rise

Brits cutting back as prices rise

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People struggling with the soaring cost of living are cutting back on food and car journeys to save money, according to a BBC-commissioned survey.

More than half (56 per cent) the 4 011 people asked had bought fewer groceries, and the same proportion had skipped meals.

The findings reveal the widespread impact of prices rising at their fastest rate for 40 years.

Many people have cut spending on clothes and socialising. Some say their mental health has been affected.

Two-thirds of those surveyed also suggested government support provided so far was insufficient.

The BBC-commissioned survey of 4 011 UK adults in early June lifts a lid on how the economic climate is affecting lives and financial, physical and mental health.

The cost of domestic energy, petrol, and food have all increased significantly in recent months, and the findings suggest more than eight in 10 people (81 per cent) are worried about the rising cost of living.

Concern has grown since the start of the year when 69per cent of those asked said they were worried in a similar BBC survey.

In the latest results, two thirds (66 per cent) of those with worries said this was having a negative effect on their mental health. Nearly half (45 per cent) said their physical health had been affected.

Day-to-day, individuals are making further changes to manage their budgets. The survey suggests this can be as simple as going on fewer nights out, or getting a haircut less often.

For charity worker Janine Colwill, from Easington, and those she talks to, the changes have been more fundamental.

“We get together with the family every Sunday, religiously, for Sunday roast – but my family and other families are starting to grow their own vegetables,” she said.

“Those people who may not have worried about these things before are now worrying about them constantly.

“With advances in technology, I never would have thought that people would be relying on a food bank or growing their own – and just penny-pinching,” she said.

The survey suggests people are finding various ways to manage and save their money. The findings include:

  • Some 82 per cent of those asked had switched off lights in the previous week to save money
  • Trips taken in the car had been limited to varying degrees in the previous six months by 72 per cent of those asked
  • A large majority (84 per cent) said they had spent less on their clothes at some point in the previous six months

About half (52 per cent) expect to work more hours in the next six months to help to pay the bills. (BBC)