20 bills most of us didn’t pay 10 years ago that now cost us £41bn a year

New research from GoCompare has revealed the £41bn bill for modern goods and services -things that are sapping our finances now, but which most of us wouldn’t have been paying out for just 10 years ago.

The comparison site has identified 20 so-called ‘Nouveau Bills’ that are costing UK adults £66 a month or £788 a year on average, including mobile data, tattoos, streaming services, online casinos and bingo sites and online subscriptions.

In a short period of time, new technology has transformed the way we live – from the way we communicate and access information to the way we shop and entertain ourselves.  While the obsession with self-improvement, has also changed what we spend our money on.

Rank ‘Nouveau Bill’ Cost Percentage of people paying for
Monthly Yearly
1 Broadband £20.36 £244.32 72%
2 Smartphone contract £13.59 £163.08 57%
3 Tattoos £3.68 £44.16 6%
4 TV streaming service (e.g. Netflix) £3.54 £42.48 32%
5 Beauty treatments (e.g. eyebrow threading, manicures, false nails, spray tan) £3.18 £38.16 14%
6 Subscription delivery service (e.g. Amazon Prime) £2.52 £30.24 23%
7 Online casino/online bingo £2.26 £27.12 7%
8 Mobile data £2.19 £26.28 26%
9 Coffee pods (e.g. Tassimo, Nespresso) £1.90 £22.80 16%
10 Online newspaper and magazine subscriptions £1.66 £19.92 9%
11 Hand car wash/detailing £1.57 £18.84 13%
12 Playstation Plus or Xbox Live subscription £1.38 £16.56 9%
13 Self-storage (e.g. Big Yellow, SafeStore) £1.20 £14.40 2%
14 Gaming in app purchases for power-ups, etc £1.05 £12.60 11%
15 Teeth whitening or Botox injections £1.05 £12.60 3%
15 Music streaming service (e.g. Spotify) £1.03 £12.36 13%
17 Ready to cook meal delivery service (e.g. Mindful Chef, Hello Fresh) £0.82 £9.84 5%
18 Online subscription book service £0.63 £7.56 4%
19 Cloud storage £0.45 £5.40 9%
20 Paid for mobile phone apps £0.41 £4.92 7%
21 Other £1.19 £14.28 2%
Average total spend by UK adults £65.66 £787.92  

 

The survey also asked participants which of the modern goods and services they couldn’t live without.  Broadband (72%) headed the list followed by smartphones (52%), mobile data (26%), TV streaming services such as Netflix, Now and Amazon (23%) and subscription delivery services such as Amazon Prime (14%).  Other modern day essentially were music streaming services including Spotify and Deezer (10%), beauty treatments including eyebrow threading, manicures, etc. (8%), coffee pods (8%), cloud storage (8%) and online newspaper and magazine subscriptions (6%).

Commenting on the research, Georgie Frost, Consumer Advocate at GoCompare said, “These figures just go to show the extent to which our budgets have been stretched in recent years.  At a time when incomes have remained relatively unchanged, finding budget for up to 20 new bills in our lives is a big ask.  It wasn’t so long ago that we just had to worry about the basic household bills and perhaps the cost of running a car.  Now, most of us have also acquired a list of online subscriptions, contracts, treatments and services that we suddenly ‘can’t live without’.

“Something’s got to give.  While we might question the necessity of some of the ‘new bills’, they are a real and significant drain on funds for many people.  To make way for the new bills, we may need to address some of our ‘old bills’.  Most of us are still paying too much for the likes of gas and electric, car insurance and home insurance.  So perhaps the best advice might be; before you take on a new bill – check and see if you can save money on an old one by switching to a cheaper provider.”

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