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  • FIRST POST
    • RR4353
    • By RR4353 3rd Jul 18, 1:04 PM
    • 17Posts
    • 3Thanks
    RR4353
    Working households - Living costs and lifestyles - what is essential?
    • #1
    • 3rd Jul 18, 1:04 PM
    Working households - Living costs and lifestyles - what is essential? 3rd Jul 18 at 1:04 PM
    Hi

    I am looking for people in employment or self-employed in the UK to help me out with my research. This thread relates to living costs for working households and forms part of my research for my dissertation (MA in Social Research Methods and Social Policy at Durham University).

    I have been given permission by the MSE Forum Team to create this thread.

    The research considers living costs among working households, in particular the financial pressures associated with our lifestyles today. Therefore, it looks beyond essential costs, recognising that in the UK today housing, fuel and food costs are big issues but that we also have many other living costs to juggle, and people on decent/better incomes can still have little disposable income.

    The thread is intended to open up discussion about living costs to see how they vary among different households - there are no rights or wrongs, everyone will have their own opinions and experiences. You do not have to respond to all questions and may withdraw at any time up to 31 July 2018, by which time I will be preparing to submit the assignment. Taking part is completely voluntary.

    Parts of the discussion will be used in my dissertation assignment but all names will be changed to ensure confidentiality and anonymity. I will keep my assignment data on a password-protected computer. By contributing to the thread, you are giving your consent for me to use what you write in my assignment and this will only be used for the purpose of my dissertation.

    The first question is:
    Other than rent/mortgage, council tax, water, gas/electric/other fuel and food costs, what do you consider as essential/important for your living costs today?


    I'll post further questions below as the discussion gets going
    Last edited by RR4353; 06-07-2018 at 9:11 PM. Reason: add to title; omiited word
Page 1
    • Mnd
    • By Mnd 3rd Jul 18, 6:33 PM
    • 711 Posts
    • 867 Thanks
    Mnd
    • #2
    • 3rd Jul 18, 6:33 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Jul 18, 6:33 PM
    Broadband,mobiles
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 3rd Jul 18, 6:48 PM
    • 2,175 Posts
    • 2,961 Thanks
    comeandgo
    • #3
    • 3rd Jul 18, 6:48 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Jul 18, 6:48 PM
    Car and associated costs.
    • Tigsteroonie
    • By Tigsteroonie 3rd Jul 18, 6:50 PM
    • 22,844 Posts
    • 57,337 Thanks
    Tigsteroonie
    • #4
    • 3rd Jul 18, 6:50 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Jul 18, 6:50 PM
    Clothing - my neighbours complain when I wander around naked
    Mrs Marleyboy

    MSE: many of the benefits of a helpful family, without disadvantages like having to compete for the tv remote

    Proud Parents to an Au-some son
    • Sapphire
    • By Sapphire 3rd Jul 18, 7:22 PM
    • 2,224 Posts
    • 4,120 Thanks
    Sapphire
    • #5
    • 3rd Jul 18, 7:22 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Jul 18, 7:22 PM
    Acting on the massive inundation of adverts for numerous unnecessary generic tat, by buying said tat, whereas 'making do' would serve perfectly adequately, and often better. Wanting to emulate the consumption of ridiculous 'celebrities' (aka walking ads), and being impressed by them.

    Living only for today, without a thought for what the future may bring, and saving/investing for this (even small amounts make a difference, ultimately).
    Last edited by Sapphire; 03-07-2018 at 7:26 PM.
    • 18cc
    • By 18cc 3rd Jul 18, 7:28 PM
    • 728 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    18cc
    • #6
    • 3rd Jul 18, 7:28 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Jul 18, 7:28 PM
    Personally I consider my water rates quite essential I don't think I would last very long without water
    • Dandytf
    • By Dandytf 3rd Jul 18, 7:36 PM
    • 1,498 Posts
    • 433 Thanks
    Dandytf
    • #7
    • 3rd Jul 18, 7:36 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Jul 18, 7:36 PM
    IPhone 8
    IPad Pro 10.5
    Sky q
    Apple 4k tv
    Sony 4k 43" t.v.
    2014 Clio
    sc dmp 2012 13k Jan 2018 8840 paid. 60% approx.
    Mid 2018 Help2save 50 uk pounds per month
    Mid 2018-Virgin Money E-saver V11 -250+50 uk pounds per month
    • 18cc
    • By 18cc 3rd Jul 18, 7:58 PM
    • 728 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    18cc
    • #8
    • 3rd Jul 18, 7:58 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Jul 18, 7:58 PM
    Such a frugal life you lead
    • boliston
    • By boliston 3rd Jul 18, 8:06 PM
    • 2,774 Posts
    • 2,327 Thanks
    boliston
    • #9
    • 3rd Jul 18, 8:06 PM
    • #9
    • 3rd Jul 18, 8:06 PM
    cigars
    • elsien
    • By elsien 3rd Jul 18, 8:17 PM
    • 17,122 Posts
    • 43,148 Thanks
    elsien
    Tinternet is essential, whether broadband or mobile phone.
    Mobile Phone I could live without if I had a tablet/laptop and broadband.
    Car is neccessary for my job.
    Costs associated with Gitdog because I can't envisage not being a pet owner. Maybe not essential but of huge importance to me.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Zanderman
    • By Zanderman 3rd Jul 18, 8:50 PM
    • 1,802 Posts
    • 4,452 Thanks
    Zanderman
    As others have said - add online access (with devices to do it!), water supply, clothes and transport (car and/or public transport, or bicycle) costs to your list. Probably a telly as well, though many might bundle that into online kit these days.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 3rd Jul 18, 9:01 PM
    • 8,509 Posts
    • 9,635 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    I approximate decreasing order of cost:

    Broadband
    TV Licence (legal requirement)
    Dentistry
    Water (included in council tax here)
    Prescriptions, Eye Tests (in areas where not free).
    Mobile phone (but it's insignificantly small for me)
    Bus fares (no car)
    Toiletries and cleaning stuff (not required often, but noticeable when they do have to be bought)
    Hair cuts (although I do my own)
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • Xbigman
    • By Xbigman 4th Jul 18, 8:31 AM
    • 3,130 Posts
    • 1,362 Thanks
    Xbigman
    If you want to split it down to three groups as essential near essential and non essential.
    Not an exhaustive list.

    Essential
    Food
    Council tax
    Water
    Electric
    Gas
    Broadband (OR mobile)
    Insurance (although it is possible for single people to have nothing to insure)
    Basic transport (Bus, Bicycle, etc)

    Near essential
    Car costs or non basic transport
    TVlicence (not needed if you don't watch live TV or iplayer)
    Cloth's (there are free charity cloth's available or self repair/patch old ones)

    Non essential
    Haircuts - I do my own.


    Darren
    Xbigman's guide to a happy life.

    Eat properly
    Sleep properly
    Save some money
    • hollie.weimeraner
    • By hollie.weimeraner 4th Jul 18, 8:54 AM
    • 1,620 Posts
    • 1,111 Thanks
    hollie.weimeraner
    | used to collect paperwork for people entering into Individual Voluntary Agreements and it always surprised me when they listed Sky TV packages as a necessity along with the 60" TV's on the wall
    3.975 KW Solar PV. 15 Canadian Black 265w panels with Sunny Boy 3600tl Inverter. SSE facing with 30 degree pitch. In occasionally sunny Sheffield.
    Toyota Auris Hybrid Tourer
    Toyota Yaris Hybrid
    • MSE Andrea
    • By MSE Andrea 4th Jul 18, 9:47 AM
    • 9,178 Posts
    • 22,016 Thanks
    MSE Andrea
    Hi folks, RR4353 has permission from us to post this.
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?


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    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 4th Jul 18, 9:55 AM
    • 64,175 Posts
    • 376,650 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    The biggies are:

    Transport to get to/from work, whether that's car ownership or season ticket costs.

    Internet connectivity and communications, whether that's broadband or mobile/devices and whatnot.

    Just those two can be staggering sums ....

    After that it's: Unexpected costs of replacing or fixing household appliances or the structure when it breaks or fails .... just the wind blowing down a stretch of wobbly fence down can rip 400-500 from your pocket. Water leak? Blocked Drains? Tiles off the roof? Bit of loose brickwork? Door needs replacing? Freezer died? Washing machine jammed? Boiler on the blink?

    After that .... it's my cigs
    • RR4353
    • By RR4353 4th Jul 18, 11:43 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    RR4353
    Thank you, I did mean to put water in that initial list, thanks for spotting it wasn't on there
    • RR4353
    • By RR4353 4th Jul 18, 11:49 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    RR4353
    Thanks for all the comments so far, this is really helpful.
    I think to sum up most agree on the absolute essentials and then there's this idea of 'near essentials' as one person put it - the things that may not be essential to survive but that have pretty much become part of everyday life - would we miss them?...would we miss the costs?

    As I thought might be the case, internet and mobiles, laptops, tablets, etc. are important to many and very much a part of daily life - is this for work, keeping connected to friends/family, entertainment - as an alternative to having a TV for example......or a combination/any other reasons?

    How do people tend to pay for mobiles, etc. - monthly contracts or outright?......how does this affect your budgets?....what would you be able to do with the money if these items weren't 'near essential'?
    Last edited by RR4353; 04-07-2018 at 11:56 AM. Reason: just to add more detail
    • sparks6
    • By sparks6 4th Jul 18, 11:51 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    sparks6
    Travel costs, internet, healthcare costs ( medicine, prescription)
    • Sapphire
    • By Sapphire 4th Jul 18, 12:02 PM
    • 2,224 Posts
    • 4,120 Thanks
    Sapphire
    Thanks for all the comments so far, this is really helpful.
    As I thought might be the case, internet and mobiles, laptops, tablets, etc. are important to many and very much a part of daily life - is this for work, keeping connected to friends/family, entertainment - as an alternative to having a TV for example......or a combination/any other reasons?
    How do people tend to pay for mobiles, etc. - monthly contracts or outright?......how does this affect your budgets?
    Thanks again
    Originally posted by RR4353
    Presumably this is the next question. My thoughts:

    I use a computer for work, so have to have one. I don't use social media at all, apart from on this site, if this is social media, or things like gambling sites, computer games, buying 'stuff' on the Internet, so usage of computer (and mobile) is low, apart from checking facts, sometimes. I try not to buy over the Internet due to concerns about security, tracking, etc.

    I rarely use my mobile its best use is for taking photos and checking the weather, plus the occasional phone call and text. I am thinking about getting rid of it, in fact, especially due to increasing concerns about Internet security, like being tracked and so on. I have a monthly contract, though it is not expensive due to low use. Consequently, it does not affect my budget.

    I don't use a computer as an alternative to TV, and have a flat-screen TV that is hidden away when not in use.
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