Brit Bloggers: How Little Money Could You Shop On?

I felt compelled to blog after my Mum’s boyfriend told me about a BBC article:

“How little money can a person live on?”

I’m not (and will never claim to be) a political blogger. It’s been a while since my A-Level Politics days but my interest hasn’t waned and I love to commit myself to and voice my opinions on issues regarding social welfare.

If you’re still reading, fantastic.

As this is a fashion blog, I’m going to assume that most of you have an interest in shopping/ clothes/ style. So I ask you this: How much do you think you spend on clothes per week? If you’re anything like me, it can vary. Sometimes all I’ll buy is a pair of socks or pyjamas, occasionally I’ll go on a spree and spend, well, a lot more than the cost of socks. I enjoy shopping, it’s a hobby – hell, it’s a skill. Dare I quote Confessions of a Shopaholic and cry “it’s a basic human right!” ?

If you’re a Brit, you’ll know about the various cuts our government is implementing, which has led many people to speculate just how much we can live on (in my opinion, they are largely ridiculous – £12 a week for a “healthy nutritious diet”? As if.)  But what I found really interesting was the clothing section…

There are some clothes that are essential and some clothes that you buy because you want them,” says Wrap’s David Moon.

Well done, clever clogs.

This report highlighted the “necessary clothing” for each gender. Do you want to hear it? Of course you do.

For women: 10 pairs of knickers, three bras, four pairs of tights, 10 T-shirts, two jumpers, two pairs of jeans, four pairs of trousers, four skirts, two formal dresses, two summer dresses, and two pairs of heels, one of flats and one of trainers.

Now think back to your own wardrobes and imagine living on just two summer dresses. Just one pair of flats? Horrifying thought? I agree! I’m not advocating human right in terms of fashion, but as far as budgets go this is pretty unpleasant and I know as fashion readers this can put the cuts into a perspective that we really identify with and appreciate. 

If our right-wing media had their way, we’d all think people on benefits are scroungers – in  fact 40% of us do. But let’s not. “Welfare” and “benefits” are pretty loaded terms, but they aren’t bad words. In it’s simplest form, it’s help to those who need it (without sounding like Dumbledore) and who knows when you might need help? Whether you’ve just lost job or you live in a struggling area, there’s a chance you might need a little bit of help and thankfully we live in a society that will provide it. Of course, with everything good, it can be subject to abuse – but let’s not tar everyone with that brush. This was another interesting quote:

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation survey came to a figure of £9.31 a month, which allowed for budget clothes from supermarkets and cheaper shops like Matalan and Primark

Is just me, or do half of the items in Primark cost that much themselves? On this budget, your monthly shopping spree could equate to a pair of Primark jeans – and not even the nice ones because they often ring in at the £12 mark. Come to that, it would take about 3 months of saving just to afford a coat come Winter. That’s ridiculous.

Most of us are fortunate enough to live without this sort of restriction on our spending. But what about those families who do live on this £9.31 per month limit? 

Do you think you think you could handle this budget? What do you think of the cuts? Too harsh or a good incentive to get off benefits? What about places where jobs are very scarce? I’d love to hear your opinions!


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