Cost-of-living sacrifices

What are Brits sacrificing to tighten their belts as the cost of living rises?

As inflation continues to rise way above the Bank of England’s target of 2% a year, a significant cost of living crisis is unfolding. We have looked into what Brits are planning to sacrifice in order to keep their savings and finances afloat.

Quick overview

  • 96% of Brits will give up at least one good or service to save money.
  • 47.6 million (91%) of UK households have said their cost of living has increased in 2022.
  • Eating out (42%) and takeaways (41%) are the most common good or service that Brits will give up in 2022.
  • Millennials (98%) are the most likely generation to sacrifice something.
  • Over a quarter (26%) of Brits will cut out holidays abroad.

Cost of living sacrifices

Our research found that over 21.7 million (42%) Brits are planning or have already stopped eating out as much as the cost of living crisis hits the UK’s pockets. Likewise, 21.1 million Brits (41%) will cut down on takeaways.

Clothes shopping (31%) follows as the third most likely sacrifice due to the cost of living crisis, slightly more than nights out (31%). Over a quarter (26%) of Brits say they will cut out foreign holidays with entertainment such as cinemas and theme parks (22%) following.

Sacrifice type Percentage
Eating out 41.46%
Takeaways 40.41%
Shopping (clothes shopping) 31.22%
Nights out 30.52%
Foreign holidays 25.67%
Entertainment (e.g. cinema, theme parks) 22.23%
TV/film subscriptions 18.18%
Events (e.g. gigs, sport) 16.83%
Better-quality food from supermarkets (e.g. Tesco Finest) 16.63%
Domestic holidays 14.89%
Charity donations 14.09%
Nothing specific 12.14%
Music streaming subscriptions 11.74%
Food subscriptions 9.74%
Alcohol subscriptions 8.59%
Travel insurance 5.84%
Do not predict to have any impact 4.05%
None of the above 2.10%

Sacrificing entertainment subscriptions

Almost 1 in 5 Brits (18%) will get rid of a TV/film subscription they have to save money. Netflix, the most popular streaming platform in the UK, charges £15.99 a month for its premium plan, so cancelling this service would see a saving of £191.88 a year.

Over 1 in 10 (12%) say they will sacrifice music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music or Tidal. With slightly fewer people saying they will cut or reduce food subscriptions (10%) and alcohol subscriptions (9%) from their bills.

All Male Female
TV/film subscriptions 18.18% 16.84% 19.44%
Music streaming subscriptions 11.74% 11.78% 11.70%
Food subscriptions 9.74% 9.19% 10.25%
Alcohol subscriptions 8.59% 8.88% 8.32%

Foreign vs domestic holidays

While holidays are still seen as a luxury, jetting off abroad on a foreign holiday is only the fifth most popular sacrifice Brits will make to reduce their cost of living expenses. A quarter of Brits (26%) say they will sacrifice these trips. However, staycations are here to stay, with only 15% of Brits saying they would stop these trips to reduce their bills.

More men say they will sacrifice foreign holidays (27%) compared to women (24%), but more women say they will sacrifice domestic holidays compared to men (16% to 14%).

Type of holiday All Male Female
Holiday abroad 25.67% 27.17% 24.27%
Domestic holiday 14.89% 14.05% 15.67%

Generational sacrificies

Millennials (98%) are the generation that plan to cut down on their spending because of the increased cost of living. They are followed by generation X (96%), generation Z (95%) and baby boomers (95%). Interestingly, 87% of the silent generation say that they will sacrifice something because of the cost of living crisis.

Generation Generation Z Millennials Generation x Baby boomers Silent generation
Will sacrifice 95.33% 98.22% 96.36% 94.92% 87.10%
Eating out 29.96% 44.43% 43.03% 43.14% 34.41%
Takeaways 33.07% 44.43% 46.67% 39.14% 18.28%
Shopping (e.g. clothes shopping, high-street shopping, online shopping, impulse buys) 28.40% 36.70% 32.12% 28.35% 16.13%
Nights out 26.46% 31.35% 32.42% 31.59% 21.51%
Foreign holidays 17.51% 24.07% 23.03% 32.36% 22.58%
Entertainment (e.g. cinema, theme parks) 21.79% 24.07% 20.91% 21.11% 22.58%
TV/film subscriptions 20.62% 21.40% 17.88% 15.56% 7.53%
Events (e.g. gigs, sport) 14.40% 15.60% 13.64% 21.26% 12.90%
Better-quality food from supermarkets (e.g. Tesco Finest) 17.12% 17.68% 21.82% 14.33% 5.38%
Domestic holidays 14.40% 13.82% 18.79% 13.71% 18.28%
Charity donations 11.28% 12.33% 15.15% 17.26% 8.60%
There is nothing specific that I would plan to sacrifice the most 5.06% 7.43% 12.42% 16.80% 32.26%
Music streaming subscriptions 14.01% 13.52% 10.00% 10.02% 10.75%
Food subscriptions 12.45% 10.85% 11.52% 7.40% 4.30%
Alcohol subscriptions 10.89% 8.92% 7.58% 8.47% 4.30%
Travel insurance 9.73% 6.54% 3.03% 4.62% 8.60%
The cost of living crisis hasn't negatively affected my finances/I don't predict it will 4.67% 1.78% 3.64% 5.08% 12.90%
None of the above 3.50% 1.63% 2.12% 2.00% 2.15%

Regional sacrifices

All regions in the United Kingdom will sacrifice something to reduce their bills. Wales (97.92%) is the region that will cut back the most with takeaways (40%). This is followed by the West Midlands (97.75%), with eating out (42%) being their most popular thing to cut back on.

The South East (44%), East of England (43%), Scotland (43%) and Northern Ireland (47%) all chose eating out as the most popular thing they will reduce, while the North East (55%), North West (43%), East Midlands (37%), Yorkshire and the Humber (39%) and London (37%) chose takeaways as their main sacrifice from the cost of living crisis.

East of England Greater London East Midlands West Midlands North East North West Northern Ireland Scotland South East South West Wales Yorkshire and the Humber
Will sacrifice 95.74% 93.31% 94.52% 97.75% 97.56% 97.72% 94.55% 94.67% 97.10% 97.69% 97.92% 93.37%
Eating out 43.09% 36.61% 36.99% 42.13% 46.34% 39.27% 47.27% 43.20% 44.20% 47.40% 38.54% 37.95%
Takeaways 39.36% 31.89% 36.99% 40.45% 54.88% 43.38% 45.45% 34.91% 43.12% 47.40% 39.58% 39.16%
Shopping (e.g. clothes shopping, high-street shopping, online shopping, impulse buys) 30.85% 24.02% 24.66% 33.15% 40.24% 31.96% 36.36% 26.04% 34.78% 35.26% 29.17% 35.54%
Nights out 30.85% 22.83% 28.77% 28.65% 37.80% 35.16% 23.64% 34.32% 31.16% 34.68% 27.08% 30.72%
Foreign holidays 22.87% 22.44% 23.29% 23.60% 30.49% 27.40% 27.27% 28.99% 28.99% 27.17% 20.83% 25.30%
Entertainment (e.g. cinema, theme parks) 21.28% 18.11% 18.49% 18.54% 31.71% 19.63% 21.82% 21.30% 24.64% 29.48% 23.96% 24.10%
TV/film subscriptions 15.43% 18.90% 20.55% 15.73% 20.73% 17.81% 16.36% 15.98% 19.57% 19.65% 13.54% 21.69%
Events (e.g. gigs, sport) 18.62% 16.54% 13.70% 17.98% 7.32% 18.72% 14.55% 21.89% 17.39% 16.76% 14.58% 15.06%
Better-quality food from supermarkets (e.g. Tesco Finest) 14.89% 15.75% 12.33% 17.98% 26.83% 16.89% 20.00% 13.61% 19.93% 16.76% 12.50% 15.66%
Domestic holidays 12.77% 19.29% 14.38% 17.42% 18.29% 14.61% 16.36% 12.43% 14.13% 16.18% 12.50% 10.24%
Charity donations 13.83% 14.96% 11.64% 12.92% 9.76% 11.87% 9.09% 13.61% 14.49% 19.65% 16.67% 15.66%
There is nothing specific that I would plan to sacrifice the most 11.70% 11.42% 18.49% 8.99% 9.76% 11.42% 10.91% 17.16% 10.14% 9.83% 17.71% 11.45%
Music streaming subscriptions 7.98% 11.02% 10.96% 13.48% 7.32% 15.53% 12.73% 11.83% 12.68% 8.09% 18.75% 10.84%
Food subscriptions 9.04% 11.02% 8.90% 12.92% 9.76% 12.33% 9.09% 9.47% 9.78% 7.51% 6.25% 7.23%
Alcohol subscriptions 6.91% 7.87% 11.64% 12.36% 2.44% 11.87% 5.45% 6.51% 8.70% 8.09% 10.42% 6.02%
Travel insurance 5.32% 5.91% 4.79% 6.18% 4.88% 6.85% 7.27% 4.14% 6.52% 5.20% 6.25% 6.63%
The cost of living crisis hasn't negatively affected my finances/I don't predict it will 4.26% 6.69% 5.48% 2.25% 2.44% 2.28% 5.45% 5.33% 2.90% 2.31% 2.08% 6.63%

Methodology

  • Finder commissioned Censuswide on 27–29 July 2022 to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+.
  • A total of 2,002 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.

Sources used

  • Office for National Statistics

For all media enquiries, please contact

Matt Mckenna
Head of UK communications
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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