THE COST OF LIVING and need to save more feature in two of this morning's papers.
The Guardian says that while only very few people are likely to have a million in the bank, there could be some consolation - or perhaps despair - in a new report which reveals the average Briton will spend more than £1.5m in their lifetime.
The paper says new figures reveal the average UK citizen will spend £1,537,380 to ensure a roof over their head, food in their stomach and a little fun besides.
Such a large sum does not, however, lead to a life of luxury says the Guardian, with the bulk of the £1.5m going on shelter, food and clothing - not to mention a chunk for the taxman. Britons do, though, like to pamper themselves: leisure and luxuries comes fifth in the list of lifetime spending. Each adult spends more than £550,000 on food, clothing and shelter, while the taxman will take almost £29,000 from the average lifetime purse.
Travel and leisure also take up a big portion of lifetime earnings. The fun stuff - going on holiday, eating out or pursuing a hobby - will set the average Briton back £236,000.
When totted up, essential travel, such as getting to work, costs around £137,000 over a lifetime. Those utility bills which slip out of bank accounts via direct debits each month add up to more than £100,000.
As if that is not depressing enough, the average Briton spends more than £90,000 for professional and financial work like legal fees and insurance policies.MEANWHILE URGENT ACTION is needed to make UK consumers start saving more money, according to the Scotsman today.
The paper says the Ernst & Young Item Club, which bases its predictions on the Treasury’s model of the economy, says the country’s low savings rate is affecting the balance of the economy.
The group’s spring forecast paints a strong picture of the economy in the short term, with consumer confidence high and economic growth on track for the next year. It predicts growth of 2.7% this year followed by 2.4 % in 2006. But it warns issues such as savings and the country’s pensions deficit could prove a strain in the longer term.
Professor Peter Spencer, chief economic advisor to the Ernst & Young Item Club, is reported as saying the problem would face whichever government was elected next month.
IN OTHER NEWS CONSUMER groups have criticised suggestions by the chairman of Standard Life that the endowment policy could make a comeback, says The Times.
Sir Brian Stewart, who faces the mutual society’s annual meeting today, raised the possibility of bringing back the products yesterday in an interview with the paper.
But consumer groups and rival insurers have apparently been critical of his assessment, in which he said they had “worked for a lot of people” and “weren’t all bad news”.IFAonline
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