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Last Updated: Friday, 20 February, 2004, 10:33 GMT
Booze spending tops fruit and veg
Student bar

The average UK household spends more each week on alcohol to drink at home than it does on fruit and vegetables.

That is just one of the findings of a new survey on the nation's spending habits, compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

UK households now spend 5.90 a week on beer, wine and spirits for consumption at home, compared to 5.40 a week on fresh fruit and vegetables.

Some 5.40 a week was spent on tobacco products and illegal drugs.

And homes spend more on computer games - 1.10 a week - than they do on equipment for sport, camping, or any other open air recreation.

Transport is the highest overall weekly expense for UK households though, costing an average 59.20.

Is this where all our money is going?

Money spent on recreation - which the survey classifies as everything from television to holidays, books and leisure activities - was the second highest spend on 56.40 a week.

The figures come from the ONS's latest annual Expenditure and Food Survey.

It found that the cost of public and private transport is the biggest single item in the 406 weekly budget for 2002-3.

The survey, carried out annually for nearly half a century, asks almost 7,000 households to track where their money goes on a daily basis.

More than six in 10 of the households surveyed had just one or two people in them, and about a third included children.

The average for household spending each week ranges from 136 for the lowest income groups to 883 for the highest.

But as you would expect, the breakdown in spending varies widely between poor and rich.

Regional trends

The least well-off tenth of the population spent 16% of their budget on food and non-alcoholic drinks, compared to 8% for the most wealthy.

Tobacco spending, on the other hand, peaks in the middle of the income spread.

Age also plays a part, with newspapers most important to the oldest participants and least important for the under-30s.

And unsurprisingly geography dictates total spending, the survey showed.

London's average weekly household budget was 487 a week, with Wales footing the list at 335.

Urban areas outside London, however, showed low spending averaging 336 with a smaller proportion going on transport.

Rural areas, in contrast, spent 458 on average.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's John Moylan
"Transport is the single biggest item of our household expenditure"



SEE ALSO:
Where does most of your money go?
20 Feb 04  |  Have Your Say
How to cut your energy bills
21 Jan 04  |  Business
Smaller homes cramp UK households
17 Nov 03  |  Business


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