Posts tagged with "household"

Bedroom illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Spring Cleaning Tasks

Did You Remember These Spring Cleaning Tasks?

Flowers are budding, birds are chirping, and grass is turning from beige to green. Homeowners everywhere are thinking about closing the door on winter, cleaning up the house and celebrating a fresh start to spring.

The traditional spring cleaning is something many of us take to heart this time of the year, however, there may be some tasks that you didn’t think of that really take your annual wipe down and declutter to a whole new level.

In every room of the house:

Door frames — As you move through the house, don’t forget the edges of doors: whether they are closet doors, cupboards, medicine cabinets or the front door, they can all accumulate dirt and grime that you may not notice day to day. For example, kitchen cabinets can get sticky and grimy on the front and edges, from the steam produced by cooking. Same for bathroom cabinets. Most doors have a small amount of gap at the top, and that air flow can help dust accumulate. Wipe down the edges of all these surfaces for an extra level of clean. 

Ceiling fans — Another dust accumulator are the blades on ceiling fans. As hot air rises, taking dust and debris with it, the blades can end up getting thick, stuck on coating over winter, when they’re less in use. Light fixtures and chandeliers also have this issue. Lightbulbs in particular attract dust through the electromagnetic waves they emit, creating a magnetic field that inevitably attracts dust.

Area rugs — You might have thought to rent a steam cleaner or hire a service for the broadloom in the bedroom, but what about the area rugs that you’ve placed here and there? The amount of dust and grime that accumulates but isn’t necessarily visible can be surprising! A run around with the vacuum might not be enough. If they’ve been in your home for a while, consider a professional rug cleaning service.

Closet revamp — Everyone knows about decluttering closets and adding hooks and shelving to make it more user friendly, but the change of season is also the ideal time to change how you use your closets entirely. Whether it’s the front hall closet or the walk-in bedroom closet, use the space seasonally and find storage for out of season items. You don’t need to be looking at mittens and boots in July, so set up one storage space as the alternative seasonal storage area and twice a year, spring and fall, you can shift clothes and accessories back and forth. The advantage to this method is that you have less stuff in your main storage spaces that you use daily, which allows you to see what you have to wear that is seasonally appropriate.

Phones and remotes — How often have you thought of wiping down your smartphone or television remotes? It might have occurred to you in a public space like a hotel, but even at home, these often-used items are some of the filthiest items you own. Ideally, you’ll get into the habit of wiping these down regularly!

Garbage bins — Even the indoor bins that you line with bags need a good going over once in a while, to catch dirt and germs that got through or around the liners. Hosing them out and washing them outside is a great job for kids; let the bins dry in the sunshine before you bring them back in.

Specific tasks for the laundry area:

Check your lint traps — Do you find that your dryer is taking a long time to dry your clothes? While most people know to check the lint trap that is right inside the dryer, you also need to clean the rest of the hose and vent to the outside. Over time, lint and other debris can get stuck in there and they could be a fire hazard, given the heat that emanates from a dryer. 

Wash the washing machine — Every time you run a load of laundry, your machine is accumulating some amount of soap residue, dirt, dust and skin flakes from clothing, sheets and towels. Since most washers aren’t self-cleaning, it’s important to wash it out too. You can run a cycle with some bleach; just be sure to run another so that the washer is thoroughly rinsed, and bleach doesn’t get on your next load of colors!

Specific tasks for the kitchen:

Time to move the fridge — The coils and fan area at the back of your refrigerator can definitely get gummed up over time. Unplug your unit and pull it away gently from the wall. While the coils can be at the front / bottom of the fridge, they are sometimes found at the back and the condenser fan is definitely back there. Use a vacuum to remove all of the dust and debris that has accumulated for better overall functioning and efficiency.

Get to ground level and look under appliances — If it’s not built-in, move it! Even removing the warming drawer at the base of your stove will reveal all manner of crumbs and detritus that are attractive to bugs and vermin, so getting down to ground level and making sure that you clean under appliances where food is prepared is just good sense!

Specific tasks for bedrooms:

Eliminate mattress dust — Most people remember to flip and rotate their mattress but what about cleaning it? It’s great if you have a cover for it, but that isn’t foolproof protection for dirt, dust bunnies and so on. A better option is to remove (and wash) the cover, and vacuum your mattress, including the nooks and crannies at the edges. If you sprinkle it with baking soda and let that sit for an hour before vacuuming, you will pick up a lot more debris and the soda will deodorize your mattress from any lingering scents. 

Wash your pillows — Washing pillowcases is a no brainer but as they aren’t drool proof, washing your pillows once in a while is a good idea too. Double check the labels to make sure that you can do it! This task can be a bit much for a standard washing machine, so you might need to take them to a laundromat with a high-capacity machine to get the job done but you’ll sleep better for the effort!

While this might seem like a daunting list of tasks, on top of the normal spring-cleaning effort, just remember that you don’t have it get it all done in one day. Take it a room at a time, over several weeks, but you’ll be glad of the effort when it’s all done, and you have a sparkling clean, fresh space to call home.

Marty Basher is the design and organization expert with Modular Closets. Marty regularly contributes on topics of DIY renovations, home design, organization, improvement and more, helping home owners get the most of the spaces in their home. Modular Closets are high-quality and easy-to-design closet systems made in the USA that you can order, assemble and install yourself, in no time at all. Using closet modules (closet pieces you can mix & match to design your own modular closet), homeowners everywhere are empowered to achieve a true custom look- for nearly 40% less than standard custom closets.

Pandemic Real Estate Trends

5 Massive Real Estate Trends Created by the Pandemic

By: Polina Ryshakov, Director of Valuation at Sundae

Coronavirus has had a huge impact on a number of demographic and home buying and selling trends. Here are 5 of the most noteworthy shifts. The coronavirus pandemic upended daily American life in countless unpredictable ways. Real estate was no exception. Some of the ways in which the pandemic affected housing reshape how we think about homeownership and hint at larger economic shifts down the line.

First-time buyer demographics prior to 2020

The median age of first-time homebuyers was around 33 before the pandemic started. This is the oldest age recorded since 1981 when the median age of first-time homebuyers was 29.  As homeownership is commonly considered a gateway to wealth creation and a key piece of the American dream, an older average first-time buyer age could reflect a lack of economic opportunity for young people. Over the past few decades, there were several factors behind the extra four years it takes on average to buy a first home.

Contributing factors include:

  • A skyrocketing increase in college tuition
  • Delay in household formations (i.e., having children later)
  • Rapid home appreciation causing a lack of affordability
  • Other key demographic trends predating the pandemic

The median age of repeat buyers increased even more rapidly between 1981 and 2020, going from 36 to 55. As with first-time home buyers, multiple interesting factors drove this trend. For example, some studies claim that baby boomers prefer to age in place, identifying 3.6 million unoccupied rooms owned by baby boomers, thus contributing to the housing shortage.

But it’s not that simple.

Since 1980, wage growth hasn’t kept up with inflation for over 50% of American workers. Meanwhile, the dot.com bust and the Great Recession dropped S&P levels 43% and 48%, respectively, which also reduced home equity at a similar level. These essentially trapped boomers because they owed more on their homes than they could get for them, while at the same time suffering hits to their overall wealth. The Great Recession also created an opportunity for older Gen Xers and boomers with cash to purchase investment properties. As home prices dipped following the bubble bust, Americans seized their chance to buy properties for passive income, and with more distressed properties for fix and flip opportunities, real estate became a more popular way for people above-median home-buying age to create wealth, thus contributing to the increased repeat buyer age. The biggest jolt in demand is yet to come

The largest age bracket among millennials, which adds up to nearly 10 million people, has been turning 30 over the last two years. This is the milestone age of starting a family and buying a home; their home-buying appetites are already starting to show. According to the NAHB Trends Report, between the fourth quarter of 2019 and that of 2020, the number of millennials and Gen Xers actively searching for a home increased dramatically, from 46% to 65% and 43% to 57%, respectively.  The relative numbers of Gen Zers and boomers remained essentially flat, with 42% and 32% looking for a home, respectively. With this demographic backdrop, and the continuing economic and social fallout from the coronavirus, what are we likely to see over the remainder of 2021 and beyond?

Trend #1: Median age of first-time homebuyers will decline

Millennials’ desire to own a home has been long debated. A number of long-term trends put millennial homeownership on the backburner:

Interestingly, the COVID-19 pandemic created an attractive new opportunity for this demographic cohort. Several things came together: immediate demand for more space with the need to work from home, record low-interest rates that translate to lower monthly mortgage payments, and the last piece of the puzzle, increased savings. While staying home, there is no need to buy new clothes or daily Starbucks. There is no going out after work or on weekends, and a lot less travel, for work or pleasure. In fact, the virus even put a pause on paying off college debt, since it became a COVID-19 Relief option. The bottom line is that more people will have the ability and interest to buy a house, sooner than they were before.

Trend #2: Median age of repeat home buyers will decline

The median age of repeat home buyers is likely to decline immediately post-pandemic but will revert to the pre-pandemic increasing trend quickly.  The average tenure of homeownership continued to increase and was over 8 years at the end of 2020, up from 4 years in 2007, before the Great Recession. Assuming the median age of the typical “move up,” or second-time home buyer is roughly 40 years old (given the simple math of 33 + 8), a median repeat buyer age around 55 means that a lot more people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s are acquiring third, fourth, or even fifth properties. One of the factors behind the dramatic age increase in repeat buyers since 1981 is the growing popularity of real estate as an investment. During the Great Recession, mom and pop investors who had cash and solid credit were able to build their rental income portfolios by capitalizing on depressed home prices and strong rental demand from distressed homeowners.

Another factor is the baby boomer generation born between 1940 and 1964 has been downsizing. According to the latest Census data, many baby boomers will be single in retirement. Almost a third of men and over half of women are unmarried at 65 or older. With the onset of the pandemic, city dwellers who could work remotely and whose kids started going to school virtually began looking for bigger houses and open spaces in rural areas. With interest rates at historic lows, amid the pandemic, it became a strangely perfect time to buy a dream vacation home away from major Metropolitan Areas.  The annual rise in second-home mortgage applications is more than double the increase in mortgage applications for primary homes, with demand-driven primarily by families with kids.  Aside from vacation homes, working, learning, dining, working out, and self-entertaining at home created the need for more space and put a larger value on the fourth bedroom or larger back yard.

Trend #3: Length of the home search process increased and will keep increasing

Lack of supply sets the trend for buyers to view fewer homes while the home purchase process itself is increasing. Tight inventory results in fewer homes on the market and buyers must search longer for the right home. With fewer homes available, there are fewer homes that fit the buyers’ requirements coming on the market. On top of that, in the Housing Trends Survey the number one reason 40% of home searchers cited, is being outbid by other offers as opposed to not being able to find an affordably priced home, which is a big difference from 19% of home searchers a year ago.

Trend #4: Fewer sacrifices will be made to purchase a home

Financial experts recommend having three to six months’ worth of expenses saved up in an emergency account. But at the end of 2019, according to GoBankingRates survey, 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. The personal savings rate or amount people are saving as a percentage of their disposable income, soared to 33% in April of 2020. That was the highest savings rate recorded since BEA started tracking it in 1959. People realized the importance of having emergency funds and at the same time, stimulus payments and tax refunds have been distributed to help build up a reserve. Per Generational Trend Report from NAR, in order to save for a down payment, homebuyers had to cut spending on non-essential items, entertainment, clothes, vacations, get a second job or sell a car. But with severe limitations on how money can be spent, savings built up on their own.

Trend #5: Fewer repeat buyers will compromise on the top four reasons 

With so few homes for sale, the additional risks of holding an open house to sell their own, and having crowds doing walkthroughs, move-up buyers are likely to stay put unless a property that meets most of their needs is identified and won in a bidding war. Not only have public health concerns necessitated virtual tours, but homebuyers are getting savvier with online tools. Even before the pandemic, 93% of homebuyers used the internet as a resource in their home search, according to the NAR. Sellers are having to keep up with the trends, too.

Further Reading: Real Estate Shifts to Accommodate Customers in a Virtual Age

What will be the big theme for 2021?

To start, a massive fear of missing out.

The headlines of every major media outlet are screaming about continuous home price appreciation. The thought of home prices reaching the point of being out of reach while interest rates have nowhere to go but up will be the end of the last opportunity to buy that first, or second, or even an investment property.

With a tight, low-inventory market dipping under 2 months of supply, the strongest contract activity in a decade, and historically low-interest rates, buyers’ fear is well-founded and likely to only get worse.

But don’t take our word for it.

Design illustration for 360 magazine.

The Best Art Deco Household Designs You Can Create in Your Home

The roaring ’20s are back, and with them comes the art deco period once again.  This period, marked by the sleek design and vivid colors with a velvety texture, is one of the most iconic design history parts. Many homeowners are drawing inspiration from the era where a couch can define a room.  Here are the best art deco household designs you can create in your home, without pushing it too far into the past.

Pick An Accent Metal and Stick With It

The 1920s aesthetic is rife with shiny and beautiful surfaces.  To avoid making a room seem too cluttered or busy, stick to only one type of metallic color per room.  You can have a warm gold in your living room, copper in the kitchen, and silver in the bedroom or any other combination of these.  Reflective surfaces were significant because they screamed money in a time where many didn’t have much. You got to admire yourself in the sleek surfaces as you walked by them.

Sleek and Hard Designs

Following through with the last note, sleek and stiff designs are big.  A tall dresser with deep shiny wood and a lacquered surface can fit perfectly, but so could vintage lamps, mirrors, and art.  Look for things that scream luxury without being too flashy.  Try to think of it like camp fashion, nearly pushing the envelope but pulling back just enough that it’s fun and quirky.  Stained glass was significant during the 20s, so don’t be afraid to replace a window or two and cast some colorful light.

Avoid Oranges and Ochres- Embrace Yellow and Peach

Because the 1970s were so inspired by the 1920s, leaning into orange or ochre colors could quickly muddle which era your home is supposed to be based in.  If you love warm colors, go for a cooler red.  If you’re not sure about a piece, and you’ve been considering it for a while, try to research bedrooms, offices, and living rooms in the roaring twenties and see if anything similar matches up with it.

Wallpaper Is A Friend

When I say wallpaper is a friend, I don’t mean farmhouse floral.  Wallpaper was more vivid, like royal blues with gold accents, or deep reds with patterns in a darker red colored into their paper.  Pick a wallpaper that matches the aesthetic you have planned out- or if you don’t have one picked yet, you can choose the wallpaper and then build out from there!  Accent walls weren’t quite a thing, but if you want to modernize it by having a substantial fence through the wallpaper, you can do that.  This house is your home, and being inspired by the 20s doesn’t mean you have to replicate it perfectly!

Dark Hardwood

If you already have dark hardwood floors, then perfect!  Just polish them and make sure they gleam.  If you don’t, though, aim for furniture that replicates that feeling.  Lower side tables and coffee tables made of dark hardwood with metal details can bring through that 1920s flavor.

If you have lighter hardwood floors, and you’d consider staining your floors, you can easily do this over a weekend.  You save money by doing it yourself, but using a professional helps protect you against staining your belongings and ensuring that it gets sealed correctly.  If you do it yourself, make sure to sample the stain’s color first before applying it to your whole floor.  If you’re aiming for dark mahogany and up with light cherry wood, you’ll have to stain the wood all over again.

Embrace the (Almost) Minimal

The classic home we generally think of when trying to conjure up a thought of the 1920s is usually pretty spacious and empty.  Your eyes are drawn to the detail of marble flooring, tall ceilings, beautiful art on every wall.  Unfortunately, we can’t all turn our houses into mansions, so it’s essential to do what you can to embrace minimal while also creating a sense of spaciousness.  If you have shorter ceilings, replicate the feeling of spaciousness by using tall curtains that draw the eye upwards.  Mirrors, a very 1920s decoration, especially when they’re oversized, are a fantastic way to make any room feel larger.

Trim and Borders

Trim and borders need to be ornate as well!  Although some homes did include gold detailing in these, you don’t necessarily need to have a metal finish on them to make it seem spacious.  If you use too much gold, it might make your living room feel like the dining room of a Cheesecake Factory restaurant.  Go for ornate and period similar trim and borders around your walls and ceilings; make sure they’re cut to fit and that they suit the aesthetic of the rest of your room. 

Rich and Colorful Extras

Velvet was huge in the 1920s, leaving many to have it on nearly every surface.  If you don’t want to replace your furniture with this fussy fabric, you can easily use it in other ways.  Velvet curtains block out heat and cold while allowing you to darken a room.  Velvet pillows are a pleasingly soft and luxurious feeling.  Go for richer colors with velvet since it compliments the softness of the fabric.  

Rich colors should be used through many of the details.  Stick to one to two bold colors per room.  A red and purple room, or a navy blue and emerald green room can go entirely as long as you choose your pieces carefully and work to ensure they match well together.  

The 1920s were a tumultuous and wild time, much like the 2020s are shaping up to be.  Take the time and care to bring the parts you like with you into your modern home, and you can keep a little bit of the fun of the 1920s alive.

Benchtop Drill Press: Is It Useful to Have It at Home?

Nowadays, there is an electric drill in almost every house. This is a versatile tool that can perform many functions – especially when it comes to impact drills. A question arises – why do you need drill press then? Moreover, this tool is stationary, unlike an electric drill. But there are situations when the capabilities of an electric tool are not enough. This, in particular, applies to cases where drilling must be performed with particular accuracy, or a large number of identical workpieces are drilled.

For home use, best benchtop drill press should be lightweight and not make a lot of noise. Benchtop and radial drilling machines have been created especially for use at home and in small industries. They can perform work from any angle. Bench drilling machines are small in size. They can be moved from place to place. However, such equipment has a limited amount of work – to drill holes in the material not thicker than 16 mm, to cut the thread. The pros of desktop machines – they consume a little electricity.

What Drilling Machines Exist

Stationary drilling machines come in several varieties. They are vertical-boring, inclined-boring, automatic, semi-automatic, multi-spindle semi-automatic machines, as well as horizontal boring machines. Talking about technology for the home workshop, then vertical-drilling models can be considered the most common ones.

As a rule, modern drilling machines use an induction motor and a belt drive from the motor to the spindle. This technical solution protects the motor from excessive loads. Most household machines operate on a standard 220 V mains. Three-phase 380 V power supply is more typical for industrial units.

Quantity and Quality

The main difference between the device and other similar tools for making holes is that it is able to quickly and efficiently cope with obtaining large volumes of identical workpieces. Stationary metal drilling models have several design options. They are vertical, inclined, automatic, semi-automatic, multi-spindle semi-automatic or horizontal.

You need to know how this device works. The principle of operation is that due to the drill, which is the cutting element, chips are removed from the material. The functionality of the device depends on the nozzles installed on it. Operation at low speeds provides high-quality threading, countersinking, stripping.

What if you need to make a hole in 50 workpieces, strictly to a certain depth and strictly at an angle of 90°? Using a conventional drill, you will not get a single identical hole. All of them will differ both in the depth and slope by a fairly noticeable amount.

The benchtop drill press will be able to provide high accuracy in all respects. All necessary values can be adjusted and programmed. In addition, you can cut the internal thread, perform a cleaning of the holes at low speeds. When using the appropriate nozzles, the drill press can perform the functions of a milling machine.

Features and Functions

Choosing a specific model of the press, you need to decide how often you intend to work on it and what kind of work to perform – this will let you find out the required characteristics. Power is the main indicator for almost all power tools. Drill press is no exception. In most cases, its power is not very large – from 300 to 600 Watts. It is understood that the diameter of the drills that are used in this machine ranges from 0.08 to 0.63 inches. If you need to drill holes of a larger diameter, then you may need a machine with a power of 1.5-3 kW or more.

An important function of the drill press is the ability to adjust the speed of rotation. Speed adjustment can be either smooth or stepwise. To change it, use a special switch. It can have from 2 to 20 positions. Moreover, the rotation speed is showed on a special display in the most advanced models. As a rule, the rotational speed of the spindle of the drilling machine is from 120 to 3,000 rpm.

The dimensions of the desktop are also of particular importance. The larger it is, the more stable the machine is and less prone to vibration. Moreover, you can fix a larger part on a large table.

Don’t Let Your Body Be A Bummer This Summer: 5 Tips To Detoxify

As summer winds down, some people who ditched their New Year’s weight-loss resolutions may re-dedicate themselves to looking good.

Even more important, though, is what we put in our bodies. What we eat and drink not only impacts how we look, but how we feel.

And to properly set the tone for the inner body and good overall health, it’s vital to get the bad stuff – toxins – out, and keep them out, says Dr. Suhyun An (www.drsuhyunan.com), an expert on regenerative medicine and co-author of Demystifying Stem Cells: A Real-Life Approach To Regenerative Medicine.

“People may want to look good, but being truly healthy on the inside is a year-round commitment,” Dr. An says. “And you need to start by detoxifying the body.

“Toxins can severely affect every part of the body. They’re in tons of every-day products.  Being aware of them and avoiding them are essential to good health.”

Dr. An provides five tips for cleaning out the toxins in your body:

Reduce the toxins you’re taking in. The first step to cleaning out toxins in your body is to cut back – or completely eliminate – things you put into your body that contain them. “When something is hard for the body to digest, it can slow down your metabolism and cause toxins to accumulate in your body,” Dr. An says. “Avoid these groups: red meat, gluten, refined sugar, processed food, alcohol, and caffeine.”

Be careful with household products. Household cleaners, soaps, and beauty products all can contain harmful toxins that are absorbed through the skin. “Choose these products carefully,” Dr. An says, “and always make sure you know what’s in them. There are many great natural cleaners and products that can help reduce the toxins your skin and body are exposed to.”

Drink plenty of water. “Water has a multitude of benefits for your body, skin, and organs,” she says. “Drinking enough water is extremely important in getting rid of toxins in the body. It helps boost metabolism and can literally flush out the harmful materials that have built up in your body.”

Add plenty of dietary fiber and antioxidants to your diet. Eating foods with plenty of fiber, such as organic fruits, vegetables and whole grains, will help your body move the toxins out. “Antioxidants help to fight free radicals and help to further remove harmful materials,” Dr. An says.

Sweat it out. Sweating is a very effective way for the body to get rid of toxins. “Achieving this through exercise also keeps your organs and systems working properly, which plays a key role in releasing toxins,” Dr. An says. “Aside from exercising, hopping into a sauna or hot bath can help, too.”

“Removing toxins is key to living a healthy life,” Dr. An says. “Just like many of us do in our homes by procrastinating and getting sloppy, our body stores junk. Get rid of it once and for all.”

About Dr. Suhyun An, DC, MSN, NP-C

Dr. Suhyun An (www.drsuhyunan.com) is the clinic director at Campbell Medical Group in Houston and an expert on regenerative medicine. She is co-author of Demystifying Stem Cells: A Real-Life Approach To Regenerative Medicine and travels the nation speaking on those topics. Dr. An received a BS in Biochemistry and Biophysical Science from the University of Houston, graduated cum laude from Parker College of Chiropractic, and got her master’s in nursing science from Samford University.

British Parents Spend £642 a Month on Credit Cards

  • TotallyMoney’s Credit Spending Index reveals the nation is spending 46% more on credit cards compared to ten years ago.
  • 56% of parents would rather save for a family holiday than clothing for children and school equipment and trips.
  • 78% of parents worry about their financial situation at least once a month

Getting kids back to school means buying new P.E. kits, geometry sets, and school uniforms, 64% of parents, however, are frequently concerned about being able to afford their bills – so how are parents managing to cope with their cash flow, bills, and outgoings? The last ten years have been filled with financial uncertainty, from the market crash to the housing bubble, these have affected all forms of spending habits such as the price of petrol to the price of school lunches.

Families are becoming more frugal when it comes to watching their pennies. TotallyMoney’s new research explores spending over the past decade, tracking data on consumer behavior, to reveal how parents have been managing their cash and paying their bills.

 

Younger Families Rely the Most on Credit Card Spending

Although the number of credit cards and accounts in circulation has decreased by 10% over the past decade, the number of purchases made have risen by 25%. Totally Money’s study reveals that the total value of credit card purchases has increased by a worryingly high 46%. When parents were asked if they feel they rely too heavily on their credit cards, 13% agreed. This agreement peaked to just under one out of five parents with young families (those who have children under the age of three).

 

Parents Prioritize Holiday Saving

The survey also revealed that a shocking 78% of parents worry about their financial situation on a monthly basis, with 28% worrying daily. However, despite this, an alarming 56% of parents prioritize saving for their family holiday over clothing for their children, as well as school equipment and school trips.

 

Credit Card Spending

With just over 75% of parents owning a credit card, 36% rely on their credit card to get them through the month – spending an average of £643 per month. The study also unveiled younger families might worry the most but are evidently savvier when it comes to their pennies; spending the least on their credit cards per month (£551). However, whilst parents with children aged between eight and twelve have the highest amount of disposable income, an average of £315 left at the end month, it seems the same group tend to be the most reliant on their credit cards; averagely spending £742 per month.

44% of parents say they find themselves concerned about being able to afford their bills every month. This could be accredited to the increase in the cost of living as well as inflation compared to the national average salary of £27,600 – £1,200 less than the national average weekly household spend of £554.20, equating to a yearly figure of £28,818.

 

Joe Gardiner, Head of Brand and Communications at TotallyMoney, comments, “It’s no secret that the way British people are spending their money has changed over the years. Although outstanding personal loans per household have fallen by 13%, the number of purchases has risen by 25%, which can be accredited to the difference of 4% between how much people are spending yearly and the average national wage.”

“Brits are having to carefully consider what they deem to be important in order to make their income stretch even further. When asked what measures people put in place to assure they rely on your credit cards and/or overdrafts, it was really encouraging to hear the majority of people surveyed replied that they’re actively taking control of their finances by keeping an eye on unnecessary spending and budgeting in advance. ”

 

To view the full tool ‘The Evolution of British Spending’ click here to discover more.

 

UK Households Spending More Than They Earn

  • UK cost of living for a four-person family is £60,000 per year – 103 per cent of average household income
  • UK housing and utility costs have risen by 13 per cent1
  • The global study found the most affordable expat country for families is Sweden

Today, new research by leading price comparison website MoneySuperMarket reveals that the UK is the most expensive location to raise a family. The running costs associated with a four-person family in the UK exceeded those of Spain, USA, Germany and Sweden due to the high costs of rent, utility bills and groceries2.

The data is based on the average monthly cost of property, utility bills and grocery shopping for a family with two children in 10 locations. These locations are some of the most popular destinations for the British public to emigrate to. MoneySuperMarket also ranked the costs against the countries’ average full time salary, to reveal the percentage of salary two working adults must put towards household expenses. In the UK, the average cost of a four-person family is more than twice the combined total of two adults’ salaries4.

Popular expat destinations with lower living costs

With lower utility bills (£94.41 per month), heavily subsidised pre-school costs (£230.34) and a standard average monthly rent of £1,149.40, Sweden is the only country analysed where a single parent can comfortably afford to have two children, working out as 87 per cent of the average working salary5. Based on two adults with two children it’s even more affordable, eating into less than half (43 per cent) of the combined salaries.

The full ranking of the affordable global cities to raise a family, including a breakdown of all metrics, can be seen below:

Global cost of raising a four-person family

Changing costs over time

On average, the weekly food shop has lowered in price for families over the last 16 years, from £236 to £232. However, spending on both housing and utilities, and household goods and services, has increased by 11 per cent overall. In 2001, the average monthly cost of housing and utilities per person in the UK was £277.77, but by 2017 this figure had risen by 13 per cent to £314.82. Due to these rises, the cost of raising a family in the UK has become more expensive.

For more information on the most affordable countries to move to, check out the MoneySuperMarket report around the changes in UK household spending over time.