Piccadilly Pulse: What is the LOWEST amount of money you could live on for a week?

By Neil Robertson

Families on benefits should receive more than £26,000 – the average a family earns a year – according to the government.

This statement has raised questions over what the ‘average’ weekly cost is for most British people.

Tom Sanders, a professor of nutrition at Kings College London, has said that an adult could spend as little as £12 per week on a ‘healthy, balanced diet’.

MM took to the streets to ask people what their minimum weekly cost would be, after they’ve paid for accommodation and bills. 

What is the lowest amount of money you could spend in a week after you’ve paid the bills?

More than £5021%
£50 or less40%
£30 or less32%
£20 or less7%
£12 or less0%

Brendon Stait, 60, a caretaker from Manchester, said: “The way things are now, lifestyles are being cut to the point where people have no choice. They have to live a certain lifestyle that’s imposed on them – there’s no longer any freedom. But I’m from the old school, so I can manage within my means.”

A woman who wished to remain unidentified said: “Getting the tram into Manchester is free for me because I’m retired, but transport and petrol are very expensive. Everything seems to be expensive these days.”

Victoria Mason, 22, a sales assistant from Manchester said: “I spend £20 a week on petrol for a start, but adding all other expenses the lowest I would spend is probably about £40.”

Her sister Rebecca Mason, 17, a voluntary worker, said: “I don’t really have to worry about bills, but if it was just for the other essentials, I could probably live off about £30.”

Linda Machin, 52, a shopkeeper from Stoke-on-Trent, said: “It’s absolute rubbish. The cost of food these days is ridiculous. There are four of us in the house so I would be unable to spend less than £50 a week.”

Ricardo Webb, 42, a cleaner from Jamaica who lives in Moss Side, said: “I cannot live off £12.50 a week, it’s too low when I have a family to feed. It depends on who you are and what lifestyle you have, though.”

John Paul, 28, a salesman from Warwickshire, said: “The least I could spend on the essentials is £50 a week because I have children. It’s impossible to suggest that you could live off £12.50 a week – food prices have gone up and everything is more expensive these days. With a family it’s impossible – a sack of nappies costs £6 a week!

Nye Thomas, 26, a teacher at the Manchester Academy of English, said: “I live next door to Morrison’s and at night I go in and get some good deals, so it is possible to live off £12 a week.”

Aaron Smith, 23, a chef from Preston, said: “If you go to supermarkets, where prices are being pushed up all the time, you cannot live off £12 a week. I think at a push I could live off under £20.”

Norman Lowndes, 65, a retired teacher from Stockport, said: “To some extent you have to learn to live within your means. If we ran our homes like the banks have run the economy, then we’d have been out on the street a long time ago.”

Etienne Malec, 23, a student from Paris, said: “I just took the bus from the airport which is £12, but compared to where I live, this is OK. In Paris, for one month, you have to pay 70 Euros.”

Picture courtesy of Phoney Nickle, with thanks.

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