Have you noticed the cost of living rising since the start of this year?

The Bank of England’s February report on lending to individuals revealed a dramatic £2.4m rise in the value of unsecured loans in a single month. This was the highest monthly increase for five years and economists are forecasting further rises in the cost of living soon due to increasing energy and food prices. So, this week Mortgage Strategy asks…

“Have you noticed the cost of living rising since the start of this year?”

Leonardo Landi, 26, chef
I’ve lived in the UK for about a year. My biggest expense is rent but I notice that cigarettes are much more expensive. I used to smoke about 20 a day but now I can only afford 10.

James Keir, 20, studio runner
I’ve just moved to London and it’s tough to live on my salary when rising rent and Council Tax are taken into consideration. But the biggest effect inflation has had on me is that I’ve had to rethink the way I have fun. Now I buy some alcoholic drinks from the supermarket before I go for a night out, otherwise it’s too expensive.

Taha Islam, 30, head of operations
Electricity bills have gone up a lot in the past three months and my provider recently got in touch with me to explain this. It says the increases are because the prices it has to pay are rising. I’ve also noticed that milk and bread are becoming more expensive.

Carlo Pares, 23, chef
This year I haven’t changed the way I spend but I have moved home because my rent went up by £20 a month. Now that I live somewhere cheaper I don’t have to worry so much about the rising prices of cigarettes and beer.

Sarah Massey, 32, archaeologist
The prices of fuel and food have gone up recently as a result of increased international demand for rice and wheat, as I understand it. But apart from that I haven’t noticed much difference in my living costs this year.

Rachel Kasprowiak, 27, account manager
The price of cigarettes is constantly going up relative to other goods and prices seem to be rising all the time, whether it’s travel, petrol or beer. The government is justified in putting prices up and economically, things aren’t bad as the media is making them out to be.