Food Inflation Eats Away At Chances Of Budgeting

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Prepaid cards could help ease the financial burden

Virgin Money Prepaid Cards

Virgin Money Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards allow you to set a budget and won’t allow you to exceed that limit.

The soaring cost of food is set to eat in to the nation’s budget in 2011, with 88% of people admitting they overspend on their regular supermarket shop, research from Virgin Money has revealed.

Shoppers who occasionally stray from their budget were likely to overspend by an average of £9.74, while those who regularly exceeded their target budget did so by £11.45, the research indicated.

With food inflation in the UK at an annual rate of 4.4%** in February, purchasing of even basic groceries is set to be unkind to our bank balances in 2011.

Increased food prices combined with a nation tempted by luxury and arguably unnecessary items has seen 77.3% of shoppers surveyed by Virgin Money stray from their list of essential items.

Many people fail to budget for their supermarket shop, resulting in them breaking their budget. Food inflation is expected to reach 5% in the near future, meaning that the weekly shopping trip is set to become more expensive. Experts have predicted a loaf of bread could soon cost up to £2.00.

Carlie Wittred, spokesperson for Virgin Money, said: “The weekly shop can be budgeted for in advance. However, it is easy to get sidetracked, so it is worth using a method that ensures you can’t spend beyond your means.

Prepaid cards allow you to set a budget and won’t allow you to exceed that limit. With close to three quarters of people shopping once a week and more than four in five admitting to overspending, using a prepaid card could potentially save shoppers an average of £550.68*** each year.”

The survey of 2,448 adults indicated that 43.8% of women failed to set themselves a budget, which helps explain why 36.7% regularly overspend by anything up to £10.

Over 55% of men were occasionally tempted by unnecessary items such as DVD’s, with only 13.9% never exceeding their set target budget.

Virgin Money offers pay as you go or pay monthly prepaid cards.

*Research conducted by Consumer Intelligence on behalf of Virgin Money. 2,448 adults were questioned between 25-28 February 2011.

**Based on information from the Consumer Price Index- the official measure of inflation of consumer prices in the United Kingdom.

***Average overspend = £9.74 (occasional overspend) + £11.45 (regular overspend) = £21.19
£21.19 / 2 = £10.59. £10.59 x 52 = £550.68

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Carlie Wittred
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