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    90% of UK consumers now worried about the cost of living and are cutting back on entertainment

    More than nine out of 10 people say they are worried about the cost of living crisis, according to a large-scale UK-wide survey undertaken by Mazuma Mobile.

    The country’s largest mobile phone recycling company surveyed 3000 of its customers across all areas of the UK to see how the current cost of living crisis was affecting their spending habits. And the survey, one of the largest of its kind undertaken recently, and found that nine out of 10 people across the UK have experienced an increase in their monthly outgoings and that people aged between 31 and 50 are the most concerned about the rising costs. As a result, six out of 10 people say they have considered dipping into their savings to compensate for the rising cost of living.

    Additionally, the study finds that the food and drink industry is forecast to be the biggest hit, with more than 30% of respondents reducing spending on takeaways, restaurants and pubs.

    This year, Mazuma Mobile saw a record number of tech devices traded in for cash, with more than 20,000 devices per month sold between July and October, a 68% increase compared to the same period last year. This staggering figure has prompted the business to ask its customers whether the cost of living crisis has contributed to them considering selling their old tech to reduce the impact of rising costs.

    The survey saw 3,000 customers respond with the data showing that the most concerned region of the UK is the South East of England, with 90% of customers reporting an increase in their monthly outgoings. According to the data gathered, the cost of living crisis has been felt most by those in the 31-50 age group. This demographic comprises the most significant percentage of the UK’s workforce, combined with the average age of new parents in the UK being 30 in 2020; this could indicate the struggles and hardships families face throughout the UK.

    To combat the rising cost of living, most people are looking at reducing spending, with 30.3% of respondents looking to lessen the money they spend on non-essential food and drink. As we know, the hospitality industry has struggled since the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic, and there’s little sign of improvement. It’s reported that 200 pubs closed their doors for the last time between December 2021 and July 2022. Sadly the survey findings predict a continuing trend with rising utility bills, coupled with market expectations indicating that the Bank of England base interest rates will reach 4.8% by June 2023 from its current 3%. The cost of overheads for the establishments will continue to rise, pushing up prices and causing further cutbacks in consumer spending.

    In addition, despite a poor start to the year, there’s been a considerable increase in new customers for Netflix in the last few months. This could be a response to soaring prices for cinema trips, which increased by a staggering 40% in some locations since re-opening after the pandemic. We expect this to have a knock-on effect on the broader entertainment industry. We’ll likely see even more films released straight to online streaming platforms as spending habits continue to change in favour of cheaper alternatives. Cinemas had already started to see a decline in footfall, and with so much access to online content, the cost of living crisis could be the start of their nationwide demise.

    The survey also found that 29% of the respondents would be looking to cut back on their travel and entertainment costs. So, as we see the decline of the local community establishments, we also see the reduction in travelling and money spent on entertainment and the arts. A knock-on effect to this is expected to be an increase in mental health issues, putting further strain on a struggling NHS.

    Craig Smith, MD of Mazuma Mobile, comments: “We undertook the survey to get to the heart of the issues affecting our customers, and it is clear that times are increasingly tough. It’s no surprise that we’ve seen such an increase in mobile phone trade-ins with customers looking for instant cash, but we want to stress that if customers find themselves struggling, there are several charities out there that can offer ongoing support for those people who are finding life difficult such as the likes of the British Red Cross, the Citizens Advice Bureau and other organisations who are there to help. Our statistics show that everyone is finding things tough, but it is important that we get that message across that no one should be frightened to ask for help.’’

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