The cost-of-living crisis is well and truly upon us, and with inflation higher than it’s been for decades and energy bills set to rise again in October, the future appears worrying. As a result, Brits across the country are looking to rebalance the books and prepare for what’s to come.

A survey of 4,909 renters, carried out by leading flatshare site SpareRoom, shows an increase in bills over the last three months for 92% of renters whose rent doesn’t include bills.

Bills have soared by an additional £100 per month for almost four in ten (39%) of these and over £200 per month for one in ten (11%).

For some, costs are too high to maintain on a solo pay check, with almost a quarter (24%) of renters saying they’d consider moving in with their partner earlier than planned because of the cost-of-living crisis. Others are considering what they can live without, with one in 25 (4%) renters having to re-home their pet as they could no longer afford it, and a further 8% are considering it.  

Renters are also looking at taking costs out of the home, with more than one in five (21%) showering outside the home to save on energy costs, either at the gym (12%) or place of work (9%). Whilst over a third (38%) of respondents admit it’s something they’re considering as costs continue to rise.

Due to the increase in living costs, seven out of 10 (69%) renters have reported having to make cutbacks, with one in four (25%) anticipating cuts in the near future. Topping the list of cutbacks is:

1.    Eating out (77%)

2.    Take aways (67%)

3.    Nights out (60%)

4.    Holidays (60%)

5.    Clothes shopping (54%)

6.    Travel (51%)

7.    TV streaming subscriptions (42%)

8.    Hobbies (38%)

9.    Gym memberships (32%) 

10.  Birthday presents (31%) 

Renters are also cutting back on things like pet insurance (6%), beauty box (7%) and alcohol box subscriptions (8%), dating apps (9%) and cosmetic procedures (10%). 

The vast majority (87%) of renters have said they anticipate needing to make more cutbacks due to energy costs increasing again in October. Other ways renters are looking to reduce costs include switching off lights (65%), changing their supermarket habits to a cheaper alternative (65%), taking lunch in rather than buying it at work (61%), switching plugs off at the wall (55%) and washing less to save energy (30%). 

SpareRoom’s research also reveals four in ten (39%) renters in their 20s and 30s have said it’s likely they’ll need to borrow money from friends/family, or take out a loan or new credit card, to be able to afford the basics because of the cost-of-living crisis. Furthermore, 13% of respondents in their 20s and 30s have already had to move back in with family to save money on rent and bills. 

SpareRoom spokesperson, Matt Hutchinson, comments: “The cost-of-living crisis has made us all stop and take stock and look to see where we can make cutbacks. Rent is most people’s single biggest expense and, with rents at an all-time high in many areas of the UK, there’s not a lot left for luxuries, or even essentials.

“That means renters working out what they can do without now, but also planning ahead for when energy bills go up again and temperatures fall. Sadly it looks like the coming months are going to be difficult for a lot of people.”