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Families in the UK are facing an ongoing battle to meet the rising cost of living, with the bill for annual household expenses rising by a staggering £3,972 since November 2011.*

The new figures show that consumers are being forced to shell out over £1,800 a month in essential expenses, as key costs including electricity, gas and public transport continue to rise. 

A separate report produced by Santander showed that 23% of disposable household income is now spent meeting costs such as food, council tax and energy.

The increasing pressure on household budgets has meant that many consumers have had to cut back on luxuries in order to balance the books. 

Consumers are also increasingly turning to borrowing in order to make ends meet. More than a third (39%) of those questioned admitted to using credit cards, with the typical amount owed standing at £6,055. Personal loans were also an option for more than a fifth (22%) of those surveyed by Santander, with the average amount owed standing at £8,591.

Despite the fact that comparing energy providers could stand to save consumers as much as £331 a year, estimates suggest that 45% of households have never switched gas and electricity providers. 

Mark Todd, Director of comparison service energyhelpline, says: “The savings people can make simply by switching energy suppliers are significant. Whilst consumers may feel powerless, or confused, when it comes to their energy bills, there are simple ways to find out how they can stand up against inflated pricing. Switching is the first place to start to help the UK public save much needed money this January.”

If you are keen to see all the available options regarding energy tariffs and prices, the Asda Energy Compare & Save tool could prove particularly useful. 

*Figures taken from Aviva's UK Families Report
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