Cost of living latest: How royal street names boost the value of your home; new pension-boosting scheme - is your company taking part? (2023)

Key points
  • How royal road names could increase the value of your property
  • 'Treated worse than anyone else': 130,000 civilservants on strike
  • New pension-boosting scheme - is your employer taking part?
  • Mortgage deal availability soars
  • Your dilemmas: My boss is refusing me paternity leave - what are my rights?
  • Budgeting Mum: Do food subscriptions save you money?| Tips for buying travel insurance
  • Money-saving hacks: Weddings| Cheaper flights| For parents
  • Live reporting by Lauren Russell

09:00:01

HMV returns to Oxford Street in 'dramatic turnaround'

Music retailer HMV is reopening its historic store on London's Oxford Street after a four-year absence.

The store shut its doors in 2019 when the company fell into administration.

It was then taken over by Canadian billionaire Doug Putman, who owns the toy chain Toys R Us and music retailer Sunrise Records.

HMV said the return to Oxford Street was the "latest sign of a dramatic turnaround" after collapsing and then bouncing back to profit last year.

To keep current as demand wanes for both DVDs and CDs, the company said it has further shifted focus towards pop culture merchandise, vinyl, music technology such as headphones, and live music and signings in stores.

It will have brought the concept of HMV Shop to 24 new sites and 14 existing stores by the end of the year.

Geoff Barraclough, a cabinet member of Westminster city council, said: "It is fantastic to see this iconic brand back on Oxford Street, where it stood as a driver of music and pop culture in the capital for so long."

08:21:45

How royal road names could increase the value of your property by 24%

The coronation is just over a week away - and we've got some good news if your street has a royal connection...

Houses in roads with the word "royal" in the name cost an average 24% more than the typical property value, according to analysis.

Using Land Registry data, estate agent Savills found that houses on such streets have a particularly high typical price tag, of £412,445.

Streets containing the word "king" also have a price point above average for England and Wales, at £354,922.

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Interestingly, houses on streets with the words "crown" or "Windsor" were found to have a typically lower price tag.

An average house price of £330,662 on streets with the word crown, and £295,531 on streets with the word Windsor, according to the research.

Frances McDonald, director of residential research at Savills, said the "priciest streets with royal connections" are primarily located in London and the South East, which is home to a number of royal residences.

The analysis was conducted by looking at selling prices between 2000 and 2022.

It said that when the Queen was crowned in 1952, the average house price was just under £2,000 - around £56,000 in today’s money.

In January this year, the average house price in England was £310,159 and £216,871 in Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics .

07:37:57

Is your employer part of a new pension-boosting scheme?

A pension-boosting scheme launched by the Living Wage Foundation could see your employer pay in 7% of your salary.

The Living Pension is a voluntary savings target of 12% - with 5% contributed by the employee and in tax relief.

Which? found six employers have signed up to the standard so far: Aviva, Citizens UK, Good Things Foundation, Herbert Smith Freehills, Phoenix Group and Wealthify.

Even if your employer does not partake in the scheme, it is worth talking to your HR department because they may offer contributions above the 3% minimum if you increase yours.

This comes as the Living Wage Foundation found more than half of pension savers felt they would never be able to retire and one in 10 stopped or reduced pension contributions in recent months.

07:27:05

'Treated worse than anyone else': More than 130,000 civil servants strike

More than 130,000 civil servants are striking today in a long-running dispute over pay and job conditions.

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Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) in 132 government departments are walking out after Mark Serwotka, its general secretary, said members had been given "the worst pay rise in the country".

He went as far to say that government ministers were "bullying" civil servants.

"When you look at how badly ministers treat their own staff, it’s impossible not to think this is an ideological war on civil servants," Mr Serwotka said.

"The evidence stacks up - ministers bullying their staff, giving our members the worst pay rise in the country, refusing to give them a back-dated pay claim or lump sum like they've given everyone else, failing even to negotiate with us - so how else do you explain it?

"We were lauded throughout the pandemic, including by the prime minister when he was chancellor, yet now we're treated worse than anyone else, so it's no wonder our members' anger is growing.

"Ministers should be setting an example to employers, paying their own staff a fair wage, not leading the race to the bottom."

The union said its campaign of industrial action shows no sign of easing, with its members at the Passport Office, Department for Work and Pension and Care Quality Commission set to strike next week.

It also announced a 15-day strike at HM Revenue & Customs in the same dispute.

07:01:43

Good morning

We're back for another day of cost of living news, analysis and advice - don't go anywhere (or if you do, pop back later).

17:45:59

Fresh rail strikes set for day of Eurovision

The RMT union has confirmed fresh rail strikes will take place on 13 May - the day of the Eurovision Song Contest final in Liverpool.

The latest comes after union leaders rejected a pay offer from the Rail Delivery Group.

Next month's strike - the latest in a long-standing pay dispute - will involve staff from 14 rail operators.

In March, the RMT said union members at Network Rail had voted to accept a revised pay offer - amounting to a pay rise of up to 14.4% for the lowest paid and 9.2% for the highest paid.

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However, the union said today that "following further discussions between the union and the RDG, the employer issued a clarification on the offer RMT has been considering".

The Rail Delivery Group is allegedly now saying it would "only implement the first-year payment of 5% if the union terminated its industrial mandate".

This would mean no further strike action could take place.

The offer was formally rejected earlier today.

17:40:50

What new gambling laws are being proposed?

The government's long-awaited gambling white paper has been published.

But what exactly would these laws mean for people?

In the clip below, ourpolitical correspondent Liz Batesexplains...

17:00:01

Where to get debt support

If debts are piling up at this difficult time, it is important to seek help from reliable sources.

The government urges people to avoid taking money from loan sharks, who will charge extortionate interest rates and are unauthorised to lend.

Instead, take a look at our list of debt support providers.

Citizens Advice has lots of useful links to help organise, prioritise and manage your debt.

StepChangecan provide advice on what help is right for you.

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Breathing Space is a scheme that temporarily freezes most interest and charges on debts as well as pauses most enforcement action.

Your local council may offer support through the Household Support Fund or grants specific to the area.

You should also find out if you are entitled to any government benefits, and always speak to the company to which you owe money. Some, such as energy providers, may offer a more manageable payment plan.

16:00:01

How much does average scam cost you, what ages are most vulnerable, and why do people in London lose more?

The average amount Britons lose to online scams is £1,169 each - with 7% claiming to have lost more than £7,500 to scammers.

Nationally, 11% of UK adults – 5.8 million people - admitted they had fallen for an internet scam and had money stolen at some point in their lives, the DNS Research Federation found.

This means more than £6.8bn has been stolen from personal accounts - seven times the required budget to end homelessness in the UK (according to Crisis UK).

Older people are most vulnerable to losing large sums to scammers. People aged over 55 that had been victims of internet crime claimed to have lost an average of £2,151 to scammers via their computer or phone.

This compared to an average loss of £1,270 for 36-54 year-olds and £851 for people aged under 35.

London was the place where people were most likely to lose large sums. The average loss in the capital was £1,665 per person, compared to £891 for people in the North and £400 for those living in Scotland.

15:30:01

Carlsberg has hiked prices

Carlsberg hiked prices over the first quarter of the year to offset "significantly" higher costs.

The company, which also brews Tuborg and Brooklyn beer, said it was "uncertain" how recent increases would affect the amount of its beer bought by customers.

It came as Carlsberg told investors revenues grew by 8% to 16.4 billion Danish krone (£1.95bn) over the three months to March.

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FAQs

Why is the cost of living so high? ›

California is so expensive because of its strong economy, high-income tax rates, and limited housing supply which make it difficult for residents to save money. Moreover, the prices of basic necessities such as food, gasoline, and transportation are comparatively steep in California as compared to most other US states.

Will the cost of living go down UK? ›

This is because wholesale energy prices have fallen, there is set to be a sharp drop in the price of imported goods, and people simply have less to spend meaning there is less demand for consumer products. According to the experts at the Resolution Foundation, this means the cost of living crisis should ease in 2024.

What factors increase the cost of living? ›

What Causes Differences in Cost of Living? The cost of living is affected by the average income and prices in an area. When residents earn more, their housing, food, and gas will cost more in the region. The cost of living is also affected by access to resources and the lifestyle of the residents.

How much has cost of living actually increased? ›

After spending more than two decades below 3%, the consumer price index (CPI)—a key measure of U.S. inflation—nearly tripled from 2020 to 2021, rising from 1.4% to 7.0%. Inflation fell a bit, to 6.5%, in 2022.

Will prices go back down in 2023? ›

The "slowing economy is likely to bring the yearly inflation rate down to around 4.0 percent by the end of 2023," Kiplinger predicted.

Will inflation go down in 2023? ›

Ben Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of Kapitus, says, “We expect inflation to remain above the Fed's 2% target rate throughout 2023… [and] we do expect the Fed's action to ultimately succeed in slowing the economy and reducing inflation rates, especially in the second half of the year.”

How much has the cost of living gone up in 2023? ›

Now, the 8.7% COLA for 2023 is outpacing current inflation, with a 5.8% increase over the past 12 months for the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers, or CPI-W. The Social Security Administration uses the CPI-W to calculate the annual COLA adjustment.

What are three of the most inexpensive states to live in? ›

Take a look at the 10 cheapest states to live in for 2022.
  • Mississippi. Coming in as the cheapest state to live in in the United States is Mississippi with a cost of living index score of 83.3. ...
  • Kansas. ...
  • Alabama. ...
  • Oklahoma. ...
  • Georgia. ...
  • Tennessee. ...
  • Missouri. ...
  • Iowa.
Mar 31, 2023

What is the average cost of living per month in the US? ›

Average living expenses for a single person

The average monthly living expenses for a single person in the USA are $3,189, which is $38,266 per year. The average cost for a family of four is $7,095 per month, which is $85,139 per year.

Where is cost of living increasing the most? ›

The small city of Lake Havasu City in western Arizona tops the list for the biggest cost of living increase over the past year. Since 2021, the overall cost of living in this sunny desert city has jumped 46.4 percent. Living here is currently 33.1 percent higher than the national average.

Is there a cost of living crisis in the US? ›

An economist has warned that the US is on the verge of a 'cost of living' crisis due to rapid inflation. Food prices increased by 9.4% on average in the year to April – their largest 12-month rise in 40 years.

How bad is inflation right now? ›

U.S. Inflation Is Finally Easing

CPI growth hit a peak of 9.1% back in June 2022, but it has been falling at a steady pace ever since. Prior to March, the CPI hadn't gained less than 5.3% on a year-over-year basis in any month since May 2021.

How much has the cost of living gone up in the US? ›

The annual inflation rate for the United States was 5.0% for the 12 months ended March, following a rise of 6.0% in the previous period, according to U.S. Labor Department data published April 12, 2023.

Will groceries go up in 2023? ›

The all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of economy-wide inflation, rose by 0.3 percent from February 2023 to March 2023 and was up 5.0 percent from March 2022. The CPI for all food increased 0.1 percent from February 2023 to March 2023, and food prices were 8.5 percent higher than in March 2022.

Will gas and food prices go down in 2023? ›

According to a report from the USDA, prices will continue to increase by almost 8% this year (down from nearly 10% last year), which means food prices will likely still increase in 2023.

Is it a good time to buy in 2023? ›

The first reason why May 2023 is an excellent time to buy a house is that mortgage rates are primarily steady and likely to drop. According to Freddie Mac, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 6.41 percent to open the month, and there's been little movement since.

Are grocery prices going to go down? ›

Although inflation is coming down, high grocery prices will continue and consumer price sensitivity is growing, experts from the Food Industry Association said Wednesday. Following a year of record inflation in 2022, grocers and consumers are starting to see inflation begin to taper.

What is the inflation expectation for 2023 2024? ›

Headline inflation was expected to decline from 5.6% in 2023 to 2.6% in 2024 and 2.2% in 2025. Longer-term inflation expectations (which relate to 2027) were unchanged at 2.1%. GDP growth expectations were revised up for 2023, but down for 2024 and 2025.

What will inflation be in 2023 to 2024? ›

Global inflation is expected to fall from 8.8 percent in 2022 to 6.6 percent in 2023 and 4.3 percent in 2024, still above pre-pandemic (2017–19) levels of about 3.5 percent.

How much should I be spending on groceries per month? ›

For a low-cost budget for a family of four, you can plan on spending $241.70 a week or about $1,047.10 a month. Moderate-cost plan. For a moderate budget for a family of four, you would spend $301.20 a week for groceries or $1,304.70 a month.

What will the cost of living increase be for 2024? ›

A glass half full

That means the COLA for 2024 could be somewhere in the 4% to 5% range or even lower, which is a far cry from last year's 8.7% raise. However, historically speaking, a 4% or 5% COLA would not be bad at all, so retirees could still get a somewhat decent raise next year.

What items are most affected by inflation? ›

Top 10 inflation categories for December 2022
Food at elementary + secondary schools305.2%
Eggs59.9%
Margarine43.8%
Fuel oil41.5%
Motor fuelsExcluding gasoline32.3%
5 more rows
Jan 13, 2023

Why is high cost of living a problem? ›

Rising costs are making life more difficult for many as they struggle to afford necessities such as groceries, gasoline and rent. “Cost of living” is a term coined by economists for the amount of money needed to maintain a certain quality of life while paying for housing, food, taxes and health care.

How am I supposed to afford to live? ›

Spending around 30% of your income on rent is the golden rule when you're trying to figure out how much you can afford to pay. Spending 30% of your income on rent can help you reach a healthy balance between comfort and affordability. On a median income, 30% should get you an apartment you can truly call home.

Does the US have a cost of living crisis? ›

An economist has warned that the US is on the verge of a 'cost of living' crisis due to rapid inflation. Food prices increased by 9.4% on average in the year to April – their largest 12-month rise in 40 years.

How much money does the average American need to live comfortably? ›

Overall, Americans need an average post-tax income of $68,499 to live comfortably in the U.S., according to recent data from SmartAsset.

What is the most expensive part of America to live? ›

1. Manhattan, New York
Cost of living:127.7% above U.S. average
Borough population:1,576,876
Median household income:$84,435
Median home value:$940,900
Unemployment rate:4.8%
Apr 15, 2023

How much does it cost for the average person to live in the US? ›

Average living expenses for a single person

The average monthly living expenses for a single person in the USA are $3,189, which is $38,266 per year.

Who does inflation affect the most? ›

Low-income households most stressed by inflation

Prior research suggests that inflation hits low-income households hardest for several reasons. They spend more of their income on necessities such as food, gas and rent—categories with greater-than-average inflation rates—leaving few ways to reduce spending .

Why did everything get so expensive? ›

Inflation is so high because many consumers are spending more money than they usually do, and because supply chain issues and global fuel shortages have lingered since the pandemic. That high demand and low supply have led to an increase in prices.

Why is inflation so high right now? ›

Money supply: When people experience an increase in income or spending opportunities, they are more likely to spend before they save. This often causes more demand than there is supply. This cause is linked to demand-pull inflation.

How do you know when a house is too expensive? ›

13 Alarming Signs Your Home is Too Expensive (and 3 Ways You Can Fix It)
  1. Your mortgage is more than 28% of your income. ...
  2. You worry about your property taxes. ...
  3. You can't keep up with maintenance. ...
  4. Your yard is a mess. ...
  5. You struggle with utility bills. ...
  6. You don't have an emergency fund. ...
  7. You keep busting your budget.
Jul 13, 2022

What is the 28 36 rule? ›

A household should spend a maximum of 28% of its gross monthly income on total housing expenses according to this rule, and no more than 36% on total debt service. This includes housing and other debt such as car loans and credit cards.

How much house can I afford if I make $70,000 a year? ›

If you're an aspiring homeowner, you may be asking yourself, “I make $70,000 a year: how much house can I afford?” If you make $70K a year, you can likely afford a home between $290,000 and $360,000*. That's a monthly house payment between $2,000 and $2,500 a month, depending on your personal finances.

Is the cost of living going up in 2023? ›

While the 2022 COLA adjustment was 5.9%, government inflation data showed costs grew at a faster pace for much of last year. Now, the 8.7% COLA for 2023 is outpacing current inflation, with a 5.8% increase over the past 12 months for the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers, or CPI-W.

What is the current US cost of living increase? ›

The all items index increased 5.0 percent for the 12 months ending March; this was the smallest 12- month increase since the period ending May 2021. The all items less food and energy index rose 5.6 percent over the last 12 months.

Is the middle class struggling? ›

The middle class is shrinking

As is often cited, the share of adults who live in middle-class households is shrinking. Now, 50% of the population falls in this group as of 2021, down from 61% 50 years earlier, according to Pew.

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