Friday, 28 November 2008

Average family spends £459 a week

The Office of National Statistics has just released a household survey tracking expenditure patterns in 2007. Supposedly, the average family spends £459 a week or about £23900 a year.

I am always surprised how much the average family spends on transportation. It turns out to be the largest single expenditure item.

Likewise, I am a little skeptical about the surprisingly low ranking for alcohol and cigarettes. The ONS reckons that the average household spends just over ten quid a week.

All I can say is that the ONS wasn't thinking of my house when they compiled these numbers.


Nick von Mises said...

Anyone care for an informal UK Bubble survey? Here's mine in the order listed in the chart:

£10 (we both walk to work, this is just weekend public transport)
£100 (recreation, we don't have culture)
£230 (Zone 1 rent)
£15 (if you include pizza delivery as restaurant)
£20 (used to be higher but we've got everything now)
£20 (2 mobiles, broadband, land line)
£20 (beer, no smokes)

By far my biggest outgoing, not including Gorgon's ransom, is rent. Then it's fun money.

Anonymous said...

Travelling to work is the biggest expense, not travelling around having fun.
What a pointless exercise... Working in order to pay for transport to work.

sobers said...

Where do mortgage payments fall in this chart? Because if you can spend only just over £50/week on mortgage plus heating/electric what planet are you on? There would be a lot of people who would love that amount.

I suspect these figures are useless. Because if they take all households into account, there are over 30% with zero mortgage (ie own outright). That will severely skew the average payment.

Whereas transport costs fall on almost everyone so the average would be more representative. Including fuel, tax, insurance, servicing and repairs, I would not be surprised if it costs £60+/week, given some households have 2+ cars.

Mark Wadsworth said...

£60 is the weekly cost of our two annual travel cars, plus we have an old car that we don't use much that must average another £20 a week or something.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of losers in Britain I am afraid. Anyone who spends their working life working just to pay for transport to go working, is nothing if not a loser. Move closer to where you work, ride a bike, walk. Stop the excuses and start changing your life for the better.

K T Cat said...

Wow. The average budget has a ton of unnecessary spending in it.

not a statistician said...

The ciggie figs must be an average since there are millions of people who do not smoke (or indeed drink alcohol). This must mean that those that do, spend far more than the amount shown. As Sobers says, a bunch of useless numbers and a complete waste of everybody's time and effort. I often wonder to myself why on earth there seems to be these obsessions with statistics. You can't watch any sporting event these days without being informed how many shots have been taken, how far individuals have run, what all these numbers were this time last year etc etc. Why? Who spends so much time ticking all these boxes and would they not be better off doing something productive instead? Should save a lot of money, anyway!

Anonymous said...

I have to spend £60 on fuel to get to work, there is public transport option for me and I can't afford to get a house any closer. Also my missus works in the opposite direction, she is spending around £40 on fuel a week and almost £8 a day in parking. Again public transport is not an option. Add car tax, insuarance, mot and any reapirs and I would say this is easily my biggest weekly outgoing (next to rent).

I'm not buying that most people are spending under £50 on food in a week. I am very careful with my food shopping and exceed that almost every week.

powerman said...

What size family is spending just under £50 per week on food ?

I once managed to feed myself on about £20 per week eating relatively healthily, but that was in the mid-90s.

To live on £20 worth of food per week nowadays you'd have to just fill up on low-quality carbohydrate with almost no fresh protein or vegetables, surely?

Nick von Mises said...

Up until my wife got a job earlier this year we did just fine on a £50pw food budget for two. It covered breakfast and dinner everyday, and lunches too on the weekend.

Funny how shopping in markets, cooking from original ingredients, and avoiding branded foods gets the bill right down.

'course now she's got a job she reckons she doesn't have to cook anymore.

electro-kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
electro-kevin said...

My outgoings for basics are £1700

An astonishing amount goes into transport - even for a car that does below average annual mileage.

My alcohol consumption depends upon my shift cycle. I'm governed by the strict Drugs and Alchohol Policy at work which I take very seriously. In many ways this is a good thing and would be good for lots of people.

I have to clear £400 per week just to keep myself in a 3 bed semi on a fairly dull estate. I do clear my outgoings, but not by much and that scares the hell out of me - average wages around here are £200 pw.

And I bought a house at the right time.

How do people survive now that credit has dried up ?

RenterGirl said...

Wages are too low. There, I said it. And what kind of crazy world have we created where we have to spend, spend, spend in order to keep the economy turning, but are not allowed debt, and we don't earn enough. The basket of necessities is an interesting cost of living idea. The internet is not deemed a neccessity: you can go to the library. Execpt, you get an hour, and there's a queue. And to eat five good quality fruits and veg per day, with good quality food on £20? Really? That's why, in deprived areas you see ashen, anaemic, hugely obese people. They have no choice but foollow the reverse Atkins diet: just carbs.