New research from Santander 123 Current Account has revealed that UK households struggling the most financially are spending more than half of their income on bills.
The nation’s poorest households – those bringing home less than £14,000 a year – are spending 56% on essential expenditure including utilities, council tax, food and fuel.
This amount is slashed by half for the average Brit, with 23% of their disposable income going on household essentials.
The rising price of groceries seems to have incurred its wrath on household finances, with food expenditure swiping almost 10% of disposable income.
Household bills absorbed 6.9% of net income, while council tax accounts for 3.6%.
Petrol and diesel accounts for 3.2% of essential spending, but the weak pound could pull this figure up substantially.
The pound has weakened against the dollar as well as the euro, and since oil is traded in dollars in global markets – and since a fall in sterling increases the cost of anything imported – Brits could be facing a 5% price rise in petrol in the near future.
Hetal Parmar, Head of Banking at Santander, said: “Rising energy price rises and the cost of living generally are putting extra strain on household finances, causing people to tighten their belts but also to become more aware of their finances.”
Ms Parmar suggested a number of other ways to bring down household bills to a more manageable amount.
“There are ways to save money, for example, by finding the best deals through comparison sites or making use of discounts offered by companies for paying bills by direct debit,” she said.