Sunday 21 December 2014

The 21st Century Cost of Living.


How much does it cost these days to live a 'normal' life in a first world country?

I imagine that most people probably have the following expenses (very rough estimates).

1. Internet connection £30 per month.

2. Mobile phone £50 per month.

3. Sky TV (others are available) £20  per month.

4. Films to TV £10 per month.

5. Rent/Mortgage for 'adequate' living accommodation £500 per month (min).

6. Water/Gas/Electricity/Heating/etc £150 per month.

7. Food for family of 4 minimum of £400 per month.

8. Local taxes £100 per month.

9. Car/Petrol/Insurance/Road Tax/etc £200 per month.

10. Pub/Wine/Cinema/General luxuries £150 per month.

11. Christmas Day £2,000 for one day.

I may be way out on some of my estimations, but it would roughly level out. With just the above we have monthly costs of about £1,600, or £400 per week. Add on the Christmas spending, and that's nearly £22,000 per annum.

Not surprising that some people claim to live in 'poverty'. None of the above is extravagant, nor is it ever likely to cost much less than now; things can only get worse.

I think I've probably underestimated everything; it makes you wonder how any of us gets by.



  1. It seems that all over the world we have the same expances even if we call them some other names sometimes.

  2. I take it the Christmas Day expenditure includes a day trip to Lapland for four. My Christmas Day will cost less than £50 for two of us excluding my pressie from P so add on another tenner. My Sky tv monthly bill is now £70.

    1. You must have Sky Football Interactive. Where you shout at the TV and they shout back at you and throw meat pies? £70 sounds cheap.

      As for the rest I think I might even better you, simply because the booze is cheaper over here. I have about €35 on my Leclerc Loyalty card, and I think that might cover it.

    2. It is so interactive I get to come on at half time and give the dressing room team talk. The downside is clearing up the litter that's blown in from the stands.

    3. Interactive 'PLUS' provides a flunky for the clearing up; might be worth investing.

  3. Which I think is more than the average wage.

    But this average is skewed by the astronomical salaries of a very few, so in reality it's probably a lot less for a lot of people.

    As you say, how do we manage to survive?

  4. When you see it all written down like that it is kind of scary - thankfully my bills are nowhere near as large or I'd be in the workhouse by now.

  5. I agree with Elaine above, Cro. Our expenses are probably nowhere near what you list - but then we rarely use our mobiles except in emergencies and we buy the connection in at £10 when we need it (can't remember when I bought my last £10 worth) - I don't know a mobile number for any of my friends and don't even know my own without looking it up. Also, we have solar power, which takes some of the pressure off.
    However, I do take your point. Petrol here in the UK is coming down dramatically (they say down to £1 a litre by January) which hopefully should make food a little cheaper too. But certainly folk with a family must find it very hard tomanage, particularly with the TV adverts pressurising expensive presents for the kids at this time of the year. Happy Christmas to you both too. Enjoy that turkey - hope to see a photograph of it will all the trimmings. I am trying a new chestnut and cranberry stuffing for mine this year.

    1. The above figures were very much 'guesstimates', but were based on what I keep hearing. Our own expenses are nothing like that, but that's because we live a quietly frugal life.

  6. Merry Christmas Cro to you and Lady Magnon, our expenses are nowhere near yours but then I am a scrooge. My ex buys the ham, yes! he comes to dinner... call me and angel, I just think that life is too short for enemies, we got a lovely lamb shoulder with my hubbies gift card from his boss... Lovely man that he is the boss (and the hubby) we are cooking a pile of new Jersey Bennes.... not mine unfortunately, but fresh none the less, a greek salad to tie in with the lamb another green salad with carrot and grated beetroot and a mixed tomato salad with grilled corn...No trifle but tiramisu to finish... Yummo hope the weather holds but this year it has been a bit changeable.... we had the fire on two weeks ago now it is too humid I am melting!
    I hope everything is as you expect for your Christmas. Our pressies are cheap and not expected... I want to eat good food but not spend heaps on pressies!

    1. Sorry so tired forgot to add

      Jo in Auckland, NZ

    2. Prezzies are thin on the ground here too. By our ages we have most of what we want/need, so just a few token gifts are exchanged.

      I rather like the sound of Lamb for Christmas, but it'll be traditional Turkey as usual for us.

  7. My Niece pays £800 of rent a month for a small 2 bed house in Devon. They will never be able to buy a house as they cant save. Child care to go out to work to pay for all these things generally eats the second income.

    it also seems around here most people refuse to drive older cars. So add £300 a month for finance on a car.

    We bought ourselves a serrano ham for Christmas, yum

  8. I am way below all of those, except for the pub and luxuries one, where I am way above it.

  9. Not sure how your pounds and my dollars compare so I can't really tell if we are over or above your estimate. We live pretty simply. Our mobile monthly charge is Cdn $11.30 per month.which includes the 13% governmental gouge. We spend under $100 per month on gasoline. We don't buy alcohol or tobacco products but we do eat out a lot to the tune of about $300 per month. Shame on us.

  10. Of course, in the USA, you gotta add the cost of health insurance, and deductible, and the health expenses that the insurance company won't cover. Add about $8000 to that, if you're lucky.


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