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Households cutting back across the board, says building society

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Households cut back on a range of non-essential outgoings in June compared with May, including spending on dating, gardening and gambling, according to a major building society.

Nationwide Building Society said that by the value of total transactions, spending on gardening was down by 28% in June compared with May, spending on dating fell by 2% and spending on gambling, which includes lottery tickets and scratchcards, decreased by 12%.

Looking at essentials, spending on fuel and electric vehicle charging was up by 3% month-on-month.

However, the value of overall essential spending was down by 3% month-on-month in June compared with May, according to Nationwide, whose report was based on debit and credit card and direct debit transactions made by Nationwide members in June.

The overall value of non-essential spending fell by 6% month-on-month.

The Society said it is preparing to launch a freephone cost-of-living hotline in August and its members who are struggling financially will also be called.

Mark Nalder, head of payments at Nationwide Building Society, said: “Following a peak in spending during May, our data suggests households have started to cut back across the board and where they can.

“This is happening as we enter the summer period where customers will want to enjoy themselves, so it will be interesting to see how these often-conflicting interests are balanced.

“As we head into the holiday season, we expect budgeting to continue being a feature as the nation prepares for even higher costs with inflation continuing to climb and the energy price cap rising again this autumn.”

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