Region’s families need to bring home almost £23,000 to break even

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The average Yorkshire family now needs to bring home £22,772.25 a year – just to break even, according to new research.

The figure is a decrease of £432 on last year’s cost of living, which came in at £23,203.81, and consists of mortgage or rent, utilities, insurance, food shopping and motoring, plus the cost of dressing the family, owning a mobile phone and landline, travelling to and from work and maintaining a property.

However the sum excludes any luxuries such as takeaways, restaurant meals, night outs, weekends away or holidays.

Andrew Barker, managing director of Skipton Financial Services, which commissioned the research, said: “It is easy to understand why the large majority of Brits are so cash-strapped.

“While there has been some change in spending habits this year compared to last, families are still paying out more money on the food shopping than they are on their mortgage payments.

“Don’t forget that £22,772.25 is the figure Yorkshire 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 over £30,000.”

The study, which analysed the spending habits of parents with at least two children living under the same roof, found that the weekly food shop averages £88 a week or £4,584 a year, up £91 from last year but £93 higher than the UK average.

Meanwhile, the research found that mortgage repayments average £3,966 a year, down £172 from last year, and paying off credit card bills and loans make up another £2,639 a year, down £164.

Filling up the car with petrol comes to £46 a week, or £2,380 a year, up £202. Other car costs include an average £910 spent on car insurance, taxing the vehicle and roadside assistance, down £60. Commuting to and from work adds another £2,114 strain on a family’s finances, up £144, and utility bills emerged as £1,365 for the year, down £71. Another £1,224 goes on council tax, down £72, the findings suggest.

The research surveyed 2,000 UK families with at least two children living with them – 222 of whom live in Yorkshire.