Three-quarters (74%) of people were worried about their finances and ability to cover essential costs in April, a survey indicates.
The survey was commissioned by Nationwide Building Society, which said that, according to its own internal data, the overall value of spending on essentials by its members increased by 9% in April, compared with a year earlier.
The value of non-essential spending increased by 8% annually in April, according to Nationwide, which analysed millions of card and direct debit transactions by its members to make the findings.
Spending on holidays increased by 9%, compared with April 2022, the Society said.
There were 10% more transactions made on eating and drinking out during April compared with the same month last year, with the total value of spending in this category increasing by 13% compared with April 2022.
Mark Nalder, payments strategy and performance director at Nationwide Building Society, said: “While the growth in consumer spending is mainly down to inflation and, consequently, rising costs, people are also making a higher number of purchases.”
He added: “As the year progresses, it will be interesting to see how households balance their outgoings. Getting items for the best possible price is front and centre for a lot of people.”
Censuswide surveyed more than 2,000 people for Nationwide in April.
The findings were released on the same day that regulator Ofgem announced that it is cutting its price cap from £3,280 to £2,074 from July 1.
Households have been partly shielded from the most recent rise in prices by the Government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG), which limited annual energy costs to £2,500 for the average household – subsidising Ofgem’s price cap.
Ofgem’s latest cut means its cap will again govern household bills, resulting in a reduction of £426 from £2,500 to £2,074 – a fall of about 17%.