Have you spent more this year?
Published 21 December 2012 by Helen Gradwell
By looking at how you've been spending, you could identify ways you can budget better and make the most of your money.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) we each spent £119 more in quarter 3 of 2012 (so that's July-September) than we did in Q3 of 2011.
On average, each person in each household spent £3,840 in Q3 2012. So what did we spend it on?
Well, around 25% of it was spent on 'Housing', which includes gas and electricity bills and rental charges. On average, £942 per head was spent on housing, which is £5 less than in Q2 of 2012.
Transport was the next biggest expense - apparently we spent £565 on average on transport in Q3. This includes purchasing vehicles, fuel to power them, as well as other modes of transport (public transport, for example).
Other interesting observations include (all figures are compared to Q3 2011):
- Spending on food and drink to 'eat in' increased by 1.4%
- Spending on household goods and services fell by 1.8%
- Spending on clothing and footwear rose by 1.6%
- Spending on 'recreation and culture' increased by 4%
- Spending on restaurants and hotels rose by 1.3%
An expert from thinkmoney said: "It looks like people have been spending a little bit more than in July-September of last year - especially when it comes to things like leisure. This could indicate that people have a little bit more 'disposable' income to play with.
"It's an encouraging sign, but many households are still struggling with their budget. To find out exactly how your spending has been going, make sure your budget is up-to-date. If you can figure out how much you're spending on your 'essentials', like housing, food and transport, you'll be able to see what's left over.
"Think about how much of your 'left-over' money you've been spending. It's absolutely fine to be spending a bit more than last year on leisure, restaurants, recreation etc. - just as long as you've also had a bit more money to spend. Just double-check that certain areas of your budget haven't grown more than they should have.
"If you've been finding it hard to organise the money in your account this year, a budgeting service like the thinkmoney Managed Current Account could help."
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