British families need to earn nearly £30,000 a year just to survive, even without 'luxuries' like holidays and meals out, according to a survey.
The study suggests that an average family now needs £24,801.51 every year for essential expenditure such as mortgage or rent payments, utilities, insurance, food, petrol, mobile phone and landline costs, and clothing.
And to have that amount as disposable income after tax and national insurance requires a gross income of at least £30,000.
Skipton Financial Services said the figure has increased by £129.35 since last year, with some costs rising and others falling back.
The biggest costs faced by a family are those for mortgages, which amount on average to £4,514.88 a year, for food, which comes up to £4,491.24, and petrol at £2,667. But the total figure does not include non-essential expenditure such as holidays, restaurant meals and unplanned shopping.
Andrew Barker, managing director of Skipton Financial Services, said: 'The worrying thing is that the report doesn’t include any luxuries whatsoever, the figures only refer to the money people need to survive.'
He added: 'Don’t forget that £24,801.51 is the figure UK families need to bring home so, once income tax and national insurance has been taken into account, a basic rate taxpayer would actually have to earn well over £30,000.'
Petrol and food costs have both increased on last year, respectively by £215.28 and £33.28, while commuting to work is £216.32 more expensive than last year.
Other payments which have gone up over the past twelve months include home insurance, which has risen from £431.40 to £442.56, and mobile phone bills, which have gone up from £368.52 to £395.40.
However, the study shows that some costs have declined compared to last year, including mortgage payments, which have gone down by £215.16 a year for most families, loan payments, which have fallen by £98.28 and credit card bills by £127.20 as families consolidate their debts.
Other bills which have reduced slightly include council tax which has gone down by £39 a year and car insurance which has gone down by £12.60.
Seven people out of 10 said to be aware of the rising cost of living, according to the study, while six in 10 people believe they will end up paying out even more money on bills next year, having less disposable income than ever before.
Mr Barker added: 'When we first carried out this research in 2011 we knew that people were feeling the pinch, with inflation riding high at 5 per cent and savings accounts paying rock-bottom rates. However even we were surprised that families needed to bring home almost £25,000 just to stand still.
'Unfortunately, despite inflation now nearer to the Government’s 2 per cent target, many families are still in exactly the same position as a year ago, with almost 60 per cent saying they have less disposable income than last year.'
The study also found that a third of respondents do not have a savings account and, of those that do, only one in five are managing to save more each month than last year.
And optimists are fewer and fewer, with only one in 10 families expecting to be less cash strapped in 2013 than in 2012.
Skipton's research was based on the responses of 2,000 adults.
Source: The Daily mail