More than half of consumers in the United Kingdom have reportedly reduced their leisure expenses since the start of the year, with approximately two-thirds preferring to lower their out-of-home dining expenses, KPMG data suggests.
As families deal with a slew of bill hikes and increased taxes that go into effect starting this month, a poll of 3,000 shoppers revealed that 49% of them aim to cut back spending on non-essentials now that electricity bill support payouts have ended, while 30% will utilize their savings to cope.
From October to March, the government's support scheme for energy bills provided a monthly savings of roughly £67 ($82.99) to families, but that assistance will now be means-tested.
From April, telecom companies levied above-inflation bill increases of approximately 17% on several account holders. According to a KPMG poll, 51% of respondents stated their broadband costs would increase starting this month, while 49% confirmed this when asked about their mobile plans.
In line with the survey, 55% of shoppers have cut back on non-essential expenditures so far this year, particularly on eating out (63%). The cost of utility bills was noted as the primary factor.
Many stores, bars, and restaurants are likely to be concerned about the reduction in discretionary spending as they struggle to recoup losses from the financial blow caused by COVID-19.
After the government's weekend reduction in energy subsidies, many small hospitality firms and retailers are already facing the possibility of bankruptcy from rising gas and electricity prices.
36% of those polled have already shifted to cheaper merchants to save money, 37% are buying more own brands as well as value products at supermarkets, 33% are buying fewer items during their weekly supermarket run, while 11% have increased their use of credit.
A third (34%) of the customers polled, who had an average of £7,744 in savings, indicated they were utilizing savings to cover critical bills this month. 41% of individuals who reported having savings claimed they had not yet purchased any expensive products this year, and 34% indicated they would not do so for the rest of the year.