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How has the cost of living in the UK increased in 2022? New household survey data reveals where the most strain is being felt

As the country inches closer to colder temperatures and households brace for Ofgem’s higher energy price cap in October, a new UK-wide survey reveals the impact the cost-of-living crisis is already having on household finances in 2022.

Quotezone.co.uk, one of the UK’s leading financial comparison platforms, surveyed 1,000 households to ask about financial changes over the past 12 months. Nearly two thirds, 59%, said the bill that has increased the most this year was energy (including home heating oil), followed by motor fuel costs (petrol/diesel) at 23.7% and the household food bill at 12.8%.

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What bill has increased the most for you this year?
  • Energy (including home heating oil): 59%
  • Motor fuel costs: 23.7%
  • Groceries: 12.8%
  • Mortgage/rent: 2.5%
  • Water: 0.5%
  • Childcare: 0%
Compared to this time last year, do you feel you are spending more or less per month on household expenses?
  • Over £100 more per month: 42.9%
  • Over £250 more per month: 26.5%
  • Under £100 more per month: 19.1%
  • Over £500 more per month: 7.6%
  • Over £1,000 more per month: 2.7%
  • Less per month: 1.1%

Worryingly, 65% of people say they are currently unable to add anything to their household savings. 21.5% were able to save a modest amount (under £100) per month, and only 13.5% were able to save more than £100.

Are you currently able to save any money each month?
  • No: 65%
  • Yes, under £100 per month: 21.5%
  • Yes, between £100 and £250 per month: 6.8%
  • Yes, between £250 and £500 per month: 4.1%
  • Yes, over £500 per month: 2.6%

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What would be the biggest help to your household finances right now? 
  • Government support funds: 50.8%
  • More choice from energy firms: 26.3%
  • Streamlining of grocery prices: 13.8%
  • Rent control / lower mortgage interest rates: 4.3%
  • More side hustle / part-time job opportunities: 4%
  • More support with childcare costs: 0.8%
What’s your biggest financial worry right now?
  • Energy costs (including home heating oil): 73.3%
  • The cost of groceries: 9.7%
  • Motor fuel costs: 8.7%
  • Mortgage/rent payments: 5.4%
  • Back to school costs: 2%
  • Commuting/transport costs: 1.5%
  • Childcare costs: 0.6%

The biggest financial worry right now for households remains domestic energy costs, with a landslide 73.2% of people citing rising energy bills as their biggest concern. Motor fuel costs were a distant second at 9.7%, while 8.3% of households cited the rising household food bill as their biggest concern.

According to a research briefing published by the House of Commons at the end of August, the energy price cap could rise a further 52% in January 2023, to £5,387, with forecasts suggesting a further price cap rise to £6,616 by the second quarter of 2023.