You often hear comments about how expensive Britain is compared to abroad, particularly in relation to comparable products in the US. But how true is it and what does it relate to? Here we look at the 6 biggest sources of income drain.
If you're renting, then you're paying more than you would for an equivalent place anywhere else in Europe.
In the UK we pay an average of £750 per month, compared to the £400 average across the rest of Europe. One of the cheapest places to rent is Latvia, where the average is just £135 per month.
Furthermore, rent accounts for about 40% of a household's income in the UK, whereas this figure is just 28% in the rest of Europe – meaning the disparity can't be explained by a higher average wage in the UK, as the percentages show that this doesn't stack up.
If you're planning a 'staycation' somewhere in the UK, you can expect your trip to cost you more than if you headed to the continent. Many people opt for UK holidays as they think it works out cheaper, but in reality this isn't true. A night in a UK hotel will cost you £65.22 on average, but a night in Portugal will only cost you around £42.50. And you're not likely to save on food costs neither – recent research by Post Office Travel Money shows that many destination abroad are much cheaper this year due to the strength of sterling rates.
It's widely accepted as truth that electronics in the UK cost more than elsewhere – and it is true. This might be anything from from a laptop to a security camera. This is a bit of a mystery, but some analysts have suggested that this state exists simply because people in the UK are willing to pay more.
The results of a recent study by the Family and Childcare Trust show that British parents spend more of their income on dependants than any other country in the EU.
If you have a child under two, it's likely that you paying around £115.45 (UK average), to send them to nursery, £104.06 to pay for a child-minder.
In Austria and Hungary, childcare on accounts for around 5% of annual income. With the EU average sitting just below 15%.
Cigarettes and Alcohol
Recent research by the Post Office Travel Money outlined that British people pay a fortune for everyday items such as alcohol, cigarettes, coffee and water, compared to the rest of the world.
20 Cigarettes in the UK will set you back about £8, whereas in Bali you'll only pay about £1. Beer costs an average of £3 in the UK, whereas in Portugal it's more like 80p.
The same can be said of coffee and water. Coffee in the UK is an average of £2.15, whereas you'll pay a quarter of this in Gambia – 55p. Water in the UK is about 90p per 500ml bottle – only 17p in China!
We hear a lot from friends and relatives who go to the states and load up on designer goods before coming back – and rightly so considering that the Post Office's research also found that designer labels in the US can be up to 60% less than here in the UK.