Quarter of households still worried about bills

9th May 2024

New research by NFU Mutual has found that despite financial confidence growing overall across the UK, the number of those feeling confident about their finances within the next 12 months has reduced (41%) compared to August 2023 (52%) with 24% of respondents still concerned around household bills. Those aged 75 and above are the most concerned on the issue (35%).

As the country continues to grapple with a cost-of-living crisis, those aged between 45 and 54 are feeling particularly squeezed, the research shows. Three in 10 say they are less confident because of high living costs and the damage to their real income and savings after a year of high inflation. Overall confidence (24%) has seen a slight rise of 2% in the last six months and has more than trebled since March 2022 (7%).

In order to try and allay any fears, rural residents are seeking financial advice, with just shy of a third (32%) saying they will do so within the next six months. Almost two in 10 farmers (19%) are also more likely to seek financial advice, opposed to less than one in 10 (9%) non-farmers.

David Nottingham, Personal Finance Expert at NFU Mutual, said “Financial confidence, particularly in the short-term, has grown slightly as customers adjust to the current economic climate.

“While living costs are still putting a strain on household finances, there is clearly cause for optimism as inflation continues to fall, while interest rates are forecast to see a cut by the end of 2024. This will undoubtedly begin to provide some welcome respite for mortgage-payers.

“There is also the expectation that the return on cash for those with savings in the bank will begin to diminish and some may need to explore the potential for higher returns from the stock market.

“This could be one of the factors behind nearly a third of respondents saying they plan to seek financial advice in the coming months, as they consider how to make the most of their money in the coming months and years.”