Is your wage keeping up with rising prices?

Since 2009, the average person (on a salary of £25,000) has lost nearly £4,000 in terms of what their money can buy, because their wage hasn't risen as fast as prices - according to the TUC.

It was expected that 'real wage growth' (i.e. wages growing faster than prices) would return in 2013. However, the Office for Budget Responsibility has now said real wage growth will be delayed until 2014.

The average worker is therefore set to lose another £2,000 this year - meaning by 2014 they'll have lost out on £6,000 in total.

Frances O'Grady, the TUC general secretary, said: "This massive squeeze on earnings, combined with sharp cuts to vital welfare benefits and tax credits, is hurting millions of people with food, transport and energy bills taking up an even larger share of family budgets."

An expert from debt management company Gregory Pennington added: "Even the most careful budgeter can find it difficult to get by each month if their wage isn't keeping up with the cost of living.

"If you're in this position, you may need to look at areas where you can cut back for a while until your budget gets back on track - for example socialising.

"If tightening your budget isn't enough, and you're turning to credit to get by each month, it'll help to get some professional debt advice. Clearing your debts could free up funds in your budget to help you keep up with rising living costs."

You could have a look at our budget calculator to work out your budget

Helen Gradwell

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