Brits put holidays on hold

26 July 2019 It may be summer holiday season, but the majority of British households (57%) are looking to tighten the purse strings this summer in order to lower the cost of running a home. 

At a time when it has been reported that, 10 years after the recession, the majority of Brits are still living in the ‘age of austerity’ new AA Financial Services research suggests only one in four Brits are splashing out on a family holiday in the sun this summer. Instead many are focusing on how they can make domestic cutbacks to make their money go further.

The new AA Financial Services data suggests young families (parents of children under the age of 5) are the ones prioritising spending to add value to homes rather than going on holidays, and are the most likely looking to save money on bills and monthly commitments (76%) this summer – from switching supermarket to hunting around for cheaper insurance.  

Top 10 cost saving measures adopted this summer to lower the cost of running a home:

National average and by number of children in household

  NationalAverage No children Children under 5 Children5-11 Children 12-16
Getting cheaper gas or electricity suppliers 22% 18% 33% 27% 25%
Getting a cheaper insurance deal  18% 12% 27% 24% 22%
Getting a cheaper broadband supplier 15% 14% 19% 22% 16%
Changing to a cheaper supermarket 13% 13% 23% 13% 16%
Reducing the number of TV subscriptions  10% 9% 17% 16% 10%
Change to a cheaper mobile phone supplier 9% 9% 14% 12% 12%
Having a smart meter installed for more accuracy on gas and electricity readings 9%  9% 12% 8% 8%
Change to a cheaper landline phone supplier 7% 6% 9% 10% 8%
Consolidating existing loans 4% 4% 8% 8% 10%
Installing/ having double glazing fitted 3% 3% 3% 3% 3%

The budgeting pressures felt by young families coincides with them being the group that have spent most heavily on home improvement projects since the spring – an average of £9,355 compared to a national average of £4,123.  

Young parents are also most likely to have raided their savings (50%) and to have taken out additional finance (32%) to fund these DIY projects. The AA Financial Services research suggests the need to expand or adapt the home for the arrival or needs of young children has financially stretched many young families and forced them to look at a series of cost cutting measures to keep the family finances under control. As a consequence, parents of under 5s are also less likely than the national average to say they will be splashing out on a holiday in the sun this summer (20% Vs. a national average of 26%).

Warren D’Souza, Head of Insight at AA Personal Finance comments: “Our latest research suggests homeowners with young children are now more likely to be making budget cutbacks on everyday bills and commitments than university students. Many have drawn on savings and taken out loans to adapt their homes to make them baby and child-friendly but, for many, the consequence is they are having to work hard to free up disposable income by reducing their monthly bills and are also foregoing summer holidays as a result.” 

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