The cost of living crisis is a term that’s been used a lot in the media, in parliament and our day-to-day lives. It’s impacting people in many ways and much of the UK population is struggling to get by as a result of this.
This issue is caused by rising inflation and low wage growth, which leaves people more financially vulnerable and that can take a toll on other parts of our lives. There are many reasons for the rising interest rates including Brexit, the conflict in Ukraine, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made this situation unavoidable.
With the cost of living crisis expected to continue into 2024, we’ve prepared a guide on the many ways it’s impacted the lives of the UK population and hopefully provide alternative solutions to help you get by and make full use of the money you have available in these trying times. Read on to learn more.
Health and wellbeing
There are many ways that the financial strains have impacted the health of the UK and here are just a few examples:
- People can’t afford to put their heating on due to rising energy prices and the cold can kill throughout winter. Some ways around this issue include wearing more layers or adding a blanket to your bed on colder nights.
- Higher food prices mean people can’t afford to buy as much healthy food or any at all, which causes malnutrition and poor diets to rise. Opting for cheaper supermarkets like Aldi can help with your food budgeting and you can feed your family at lower prices.
- Harder to exercise due to rising gym prices. Many people prefer to exercise in gyms but the rising costs mean some may be unable to pay for memberships and therefore, do nothing instead. Going for runs or trying HIIT workouts that you find on YouTube at home can keep you active outside of the gym.
The housing market
The UK’s housing market has taken a hit in this crisis, which makes it harder to purchase a home. Mortgage rates reached record heights for almost two decades in 2023, making repayments for houses too expensive for many prospective homeowners. This forces many to continue renting properties from landlords who have been known to raise rent prices in this cost of living crisis too.
Buying homes with others is one way around the high costs but if you want to save, move back in with family members if there’s space and share the household bill costs.
Many people can no longer afford to do the things they really want to and this has affected sectors like the wedding industry. According to diamond earrings specialist F. Hinds, almost 94% of couples are cutting back wedding costs to save money. Reducing guests is one of the main ways these costs are being reduced, which is unfortunate as it should be a day celebrating with everyone you want there – not just the ones you can afford. It was also not surprising that 33% of respondents said they would be willing to cut expenses on the event venue, as it is the most expensive part of the wedding.
These cutbacks are happening in many other areas of everyday life with the following being things people are now trying to save money on in 2023:
- Cancelling subscriptions for TV like Netflix and Disney+
- Going on fewer holidays
- Fewer meals out with the family
- Reduced retail spend on items like clothes