What is – or Isn’t – Breaking the Bank in 2022?

What is - or isn't - breaking the bank in 2022

The UK’s inflation rate has reached a record-high in recent months, and the British public is feeling the pinch.

And it’s not just soaring food costs or rising energy bills on the cards — it looks like Brits are also laying out more of their earnings (after tax) on discretionary costs.

Online Betting Guide (OLBG) has researched the average disposable income a UK adult spends, compiling the data into their first Discretionary Spend Index.

OLBG found we’re forking out around £13,500 a year across 12 discretionary spend categories — equal to just over £1,122 a month.

This is roughly 54% of our annual earnings (after tax) spent on discretionary costs.

But what are we spending our disposable income on? And how much has it changed in 2022?

Read on to find out more.

Do it yourself and home renovations.

At the top of the list, US Brits are spending a hefty amount on Do It Yourself (DIY) projects, according to OLBG’s Discretionary Spend Index.

Not only is it the largest area of spend across the 12 categories, but it’s also seen the greatest increase from previous years, with expenditure rising by 366%!

More than likely a continuing effect of the many lockdowns the UK experienced, the average adult has spent over £3,300 on home improvements in 2022 alone.

This is a staggering amount compared to the meager £709 spent on DIY in 2019/2020.

Fuelling and maintaining your car

According to the OLBG Index, transport in general cost Brits over £3,200 in 2022 – an increase from just under £2,050 the year before.

Breaking this down, OLBG found public transport spending grew by around 63% between 2019 and 2021. In contrast, the cost of running a car increased by 55%.

This is no surprise when we see prices at the pump reaching record-high costs.

The average UK adult spends 59% more of their annual after-tax earnings this year on filling up and looking after their cars.

Holidays abroad

It seems we’re splashing the cash on going away abroad.

We’re not only willing to pay the price, with borders reopening and restrictions lifted, but airlines are racking up their prices to meet the demand for and filter down to the consumer the rising cost of oil.

The Discretionary Spend Index revealed we’re spending 12% more on traveling abroad this year than in 2019.

Eating out at restaurants

We all love dining out now and then. But it could be costing you more than you think.

According to OLBG’s research, US Brits are spending on average:

  • £924 a year on eating out
  • Or, in other words, an average of £77 a month
  • Or £17.70 per week

This means we’re spending 7% of our average income (after-tax) on restaurant outings, including cafes, drinks and snacks.

Gambling and sports betting

Gambling is one of the areas of discretionary spending, which seems to have maintained the same level of expenditure over the years. 

Based on the findings from OLBG, we’re spending £267 a year on gambling, including lottery tickets and at the UK licensed betting sites, as well as betting at casinos and bookmakers — a slight increase from £263 in 2019/2020.

This equates to 1.9% of the average annual earnings after tax.

Alongside their Index, OLBG is committed to promoting responsible gambling and has produced a guide to help players stay safe when gambling online, which you can find here.

As the cost-of-living crisis continues, it’s no surprise the UK public will be watching where what and how much they’re spending each month.

It’s worth keeping an eye on OLBG’s Discretionary Spend Index, as they aim to measure and report on the 12 core spending categories, updating the figures every quarter.

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