The value of households’ spending on subscription services, home improvements and dating fell annually in February, according to analysis by Britain’s biggest building society of its members’ outgoings.
The volume of dating transactions fell by a third (33%) in February 2023 compared with the same month in 2022, also falling by 7% by value, Nationwide Building Society found.
Spending on subscriptions fell by 6% annually by volume and by 3% by value.
DIY spending fell by 4% by value compared with February 2022, but the number of transactions increased, by 3% annually.
The spending cutbacks were made as spending on several essential outgoings jumped.
The value of spending on utility bills increased by around a third (34%) compared with February 2022.
Spending on mortgage payments increased by 17%, rent payments were up by 11%, spending on loans increased by 8% and spending on insurance jumped by 7% annually by value.
The monthly report analysed millions of debit card, credit card and direct debit transactions.
A survey of more than 2,000 people by Censuswide in February found that nearly two-thirds (63%) are worried about their personal finances and their ability to cover essential costs. This was slightly down on the 70% of people who said this in January.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of people in the latest survey said they had already reduced or cancelled TV subscriptions, with a further 14% considering doing so, the survey commissioned by Nationwide found.
Nearly two-fifths (38%) had used credit cards in the previous six months to cover essential items in order to bridge the gap to their next payday.
Mark Nalder, payments strategy and performance director at Nationwide, said: “Our research shows that while the number of people worried about their finances has fallen slightly, there are people relying on credit as a way of bridging the gap for essential bills.
“We’d urge anyone (who is) struggling to talk to their bank or building society as early as possible for support. We have a dedicated cost-of-living hotline to do just that.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub