Where does your money go? Compare your spending

Are you a spendthrift or a miser? Fill in the form below to compare your spending with the UK national average for people with a similar income to yours. (See the notes below for background information.)
(Note: you can just fill in the fields where you know the numbers, though this will give a limited picture of your spending.)

Income: what is your annual household income before tax? (Include your partner's income as well as yours if you live together, and enter combined spending below)
Shopping. How much is your WEEKLY shop? (Include: food, drinks, groceries such as loo rolls, washing powder, alcohol bought to drink at home, toiletries.)
Smoking. How much do you spend WEEKLY on cigarettes, tobacco, cigars etc?
Appearance. How much do you spend each MONTH on clothes, footwear and hairdressing?
Fuel. How much do you spend each MONTH on fuel bills (gas, electricity, solid fuel etc)?
House and garden. How much do you spend each MONTH on your home and garden? (Include furniture, soft furnishings, tools etc - but not electrical stuff such as TVs, hifi etc, and not maintenance)
Phone. How much do you spend on phone bills each MONTH? (Include landlines and mobiles, with standing charges but not broadband)
Gadgets and hobbies. How much do you spend on gadgets and equipment for your interests each MONTH? (Include: TVs, computers, audio and video equipment, cameras, sports equipment etc)
Home entertainment. And how much do you spend on entertainment at home each MONTH? (Include books, newspapers, magazines, broadband, cable/satellite TV rental)
Fast food/takeaways. And how much do you spend on takeways/snack food at home each WEEK?
Going out. How much do you spend WEEKLY on going out? (Include sports events, gigs, theatre, cinema, meals out and trips to the pub)
Holidays. How much do you spend in a YEAR on holidays? (Include flights, accommodation and estimated spending)
Transport. How much do you spend WEEKLY on general travel? (Include petrol costs and train/bus/coach fares to work and for leisure, but not the cost of buying or maintaining your own vehicle)

That's it! Click the button and you will get a breakdown of how your spending compares with other people's.


With financial gloom in the news, many people are looking to tighten their belts. Websites such as Money Saving Expert and Money Magpie, and newspaper guides such as the Guardian's money saving series are full of useful advice. But how can you tell whether you're a spendthrift or a miser compared to other people?

Above are a few questions on some of the main spending areas for consumers - enter your figures and you will be compared with the national average for your income. (Mortgages/rents have not been included, as they vary greatly and are currently subject to significant fluctuations.)

The data used to compile this comes from the UK Office for National Statistics, which published a report in 2007 called Family Spending, based on data from 2006. Food and fuel inflation will have had an impact since then (see notes on the calculator results page), but this is the most up-to-date data there is (at June 2008).

The ONS data divides the population into 10 'deciles' according to gross income, and this tool takes your income and works out which one of those you belong in. If your household's total annual income before tax is above around £66000, you are in the top 10% of the population by gross income.

Note that different questions use different timescales - this is not to be awkward, but to relate to the most likely way in which you think of your spending, to make this easier to fill out quickly.

No personal data is stored - your income is needed simply to determine which portion of the population you are comparing yourself with.

New research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published in July 2008 adds further useful background - see also the Minimum Income Standard project. 2011 UPDATE: for a rather slicker take on the MIS data, see minimumincome.org.uk, coded by my chums at Torchbox.