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Wednesday 24th April 2024

Must-know money: All-inclusive rents, food inflation and the gender pay gap

The cost-of-living crisis isn’t going anywhere soon, so it’s as important as ever to take better control of your finances. 

Here are some of our favourite stories this week to help you get your head around your money.

Tenants seek ‘bills included’ homes

Kevin Peachey writes for BBC News as all-inclusive rent searches rise, according to property portal Rightmove.

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The phrase ‘bills included’ has jumped to second place in Rightmove search priorities, from fourth a year earlier, reflecting the pressure of surging energy bills and cost of living rises.

Apart from the price and location of property, pets have consistently been one of the top filters for rental properties. Earlier last year, the requirement for a garage rose as people sought extra space as they worked from home.

Now, all-inclusive rents are gaining popularity, as a simple and effective solution to financial uncertainty.

Tim Bannister, property data expert at Rightmove comments: “Any landlord able to offer this to a tenant is likely to be met with a long queue of applicants.”

All-inclusive rents take away the need to deal with utility companies and knowing your fixed rental amounts provides a sense of financial stability. However, it might be difficult to gauge the worth of a bills included property, or negotiate a lower rent if bills fall in the future.

Shoppers to pay £811 more for groceries

On top of increased mortgage payments and record-high rents, along with energy and council tax bills rising in April, consumers are having to deal with rising household grocery bills.

Nicole Garcia Merida writes for Money Week as food inflation rose to 17.1%, the highest ever, in February 2023. Second to rising energy costs, grocery inflation is the most important financial issue for consumers today.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, a data analytics consultancy, comments: “If people don’t change how they buy their groceries, households are facing an £811 increase to their average annual bill.”

With milk and cheese prices already increased 26.1% and 23.8% respectively, and butter and spreads costing 29.9% more –despite improvement in supply chains issues is yet to reflect in prices.

Plus, while many items have not risen in price, they are experiencing so-called ‘shrinkflation’ – where the price of a product does not change, but the size of the product decreases, leaving shoppers with less for their money.

UK women more likely to be on low pay and struggling

Joanna Partridge reports for The Guardian that more women than men are paid below the real living wage, according to data from the Living Wage Foundation.

Women have been hit harder by the cost-of-living crisis as they already tend to earn less, with 60% of all jobs paying below the real living wage held by women.

Half a million more working women are paid below the real living wage than their male counterparts. 13% of women, are on zero-hour contracts which comes with a lower job security. compared to 9% of men.

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, comments that the research “demonstrates the reality that millions of women in the UK – often cleaners, catering staff and care workers – are more likely to be trapped in low-paying, insecure and precarious jobs.”

Photo Credits: Unsplash

Richa Ved

Richa is a young Indian graduate from Warwick Business School, aspiring to find her niche in the media industry. She has a passion for writing and a keen interest in financial affairs. If you don’t find her working, she’s probably having a pizza (her favourite!) and a pint of beer somewhere.

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