50 years of the price of life
Electricity and gas took more of your salary in 1970
Ever since gas was first marketed in the 1700s, household fuels have been something we have had to pay for. In 1970, the cost of your gas and electricity would have been around 8% of the UK average wage, with slower and less efficient technology, meaning more energy had to be used to get the result. wish.
In 2020, 7.71% of your salary is spent on these invoices. The technology is much more efficient now, but we are using a lot more to power everything like laptops, phones and Netflix.
In 2019, the average Briton spent £ 1,279 a year on powering their home.
We are spending more than ever on rent and mortgages
In the 1970s, we spent 10% of our salaries on rent and mortgage payments – a considerable amount already leaving our bank accounts. By 2019, that amount had increased by half. Britons now spend 15.47% of their salary to live in their home, with the average figure rising to £ 2,615 per year.
Housing tax prices have also increased. We currently spend an average of £ 1,274 on this bill, which is 7.54% of the average salary. In the 1970s, that number was only 4%, with more of our salary remaining in our pockets.
However, there are savings to be made. Through compare our mortgage offers you can see if you are paying too much, potentially keeping more money in your accounts each month.
The price of entertainment has exploded over the past 50 years
Entertainment, such as TV packages, music and subscription services (Netflix / Prime) cost us an average of £ 534 per year, or around 3.16% of our salaries. This is much more than it would have been 50 years ago, when most of this entertainment did not exist. The only comparable price is that of TV licenses, which have effectively become more affordable relative to our salaries over time. In 1970, the fees you paid to watch BBC content would have cost 0.78% of your salary, compared to 0.68% today.
Getting around has become more expensive over time
The price of petrol pumps takes 4.21% of our wages out of our accounts, or around £ 712 per year. This is almost double what it was in the 1970s, when only 2.29% of our wages fueled our engines.
The price of the cars themselves has in fact become more affordable. Due to the huge range of options available, such as lease offers, paid monthly offers, and several car comparison sites, we are not stuck with 70s dealerships and can often find a cheaper car while shopping.
50 years ago cars would have cost us 9% of our wages, compared to just 4.03% (£ 681) today.
Fast fashion drives prices constantly
Fashion has changed a lot since the ’70s – not only are flares and hairy breasts confined to the past, but clothing is also much more readily available. Online retailers are fierce competition for high street stores, making it easier than ever to choose the look you love and have it delivered right to your doorstep. This choice has seen the price of fashion drop. 50 years ago, about 7% of your salary would go to clothing each year. Today it is down to 5.87%, with competition forcing retailers to keep their prices low.
Things we pay now and didn’t pay back then
Technology has come a long way since the 1970s. While the internet had already been invented the previous decade, it certainly didn’t look like what we know today, and certainly not all of us paid for it.
The average cost of home internet connections is £ 363 per year. It’s about 2.15% of our income that keeps us connected. Meanwhile, our phone contracts have also changed dramatically over the past five decades. A 70s phone could have had a large round dial on the front for you to dial numbers, while today’s phones are much flatter, lighter, and do more than just make calls.
This comes with an additional cost. 50 years ago, telephone bills represented 1.23% of our wages, whereas today it is more like 2.4%.
5% of our salary goes on invoices every year
The average amount of our salary that goes to utility providers is 5%, covering everything from television to water and electricity. So while some things have certainly gotten more expensive since the 1970s, it’s clear that the amount of choice we have now means there is still some savings to be made.
Don’t just pay too much. Compare your invoices today to see how much better you could be.
Using data from the ONS Basket of Goods and Services, we examined the costs of some expenditures in 2020 and up to 1970, and calculated what percentage of expenditures these expenditures represented household income in 1970 compared to to 2020.