2014: An increasingly expensive way of life

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It’s no secret that things aren’t getting any cheaper.

Take a look at the housing market, for example – Savills Estate Agents recently revealed its predictions for the rising costs property in 2014 is concerned. It found that in just ten months, the economic landscape has completely changed from one of trepidation to booming confidence – and growing prices as a result.

So much so that there are already fears of a housing bubble – creating a market where demand outstrips supply and fees subsequently skyrocket. Over the next year alone, Savills expects house prices house prices to rise by three per cent in central London, while current figures are expected to jump up by a whopping 23.1 per cent in the same region over a five-year period.

While the news is obviously good for those wanting to stay put, it’s less encouraging if you’re a buyer in the market – forcing you to play your hand sooner rather than later. Sadly, the case is similar for many other amenities and facilities in day-to-day life.

The rising cost of travel

One price rise that affects everybody is getting from A to B. Whether it be via rail, road or any other means that doesn’t involve walking or cycling – things are getting more expensive.

The cost of petrol and diesel has been well-documented for years and drivers are now accustomed to regularly seeing the filling up of their tank taking a bigger chunk out of their wallet. However, one type of commute that’s recently taken a hit is using the train to get into work.

With the start of the new year bringing with it an average price rise of 2.8 per cent for those using the rail service to get about their daily business, things could have started off on a better foot. As it is, the cost of some commuter travel will now reach an annual fee of up to £5,000.

Naturally, this has been condemned by campaign groups and passengers alike, who have said that fares are increasing at a much greater rate than their salaries – making the general cost of living just that little bit tighter to budget for.

How the costs can come down

While some rises are unavoidable, there are things you can do to avoid being hit by the full force of the growing costs of this year.

For example, as far as commuting is concerned, one option is to cut it out altogether  – and this isn’t even as radical a step as it may first seem. Companies like Buzz Conferencing offer businesses the opportunity to use conference call facilities for free, meaning that employees can stay connected to office meetings and the general goings on without actually leaving their own home.

While not everyone is going to work remotely every day, at a time when wage rises are scarce, the next best thing for companies to keep staff happy is to bring their workers’ expenses down. It all helps, after all – doesn’t it?


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