Price hike: know your financial boundaries, but also your prioritiesALAMY

It’s 5am on a wet Tuesday morning and you’re standing at Stansted airport. Well, near Stansted airport. Parking in the same postcode as the terminal came at a premium, so you opted to go “off site”, saving £17.68. A 15-minute wait, a 25-minute shuttle ride, and you and the family are at the terminal. From there you leg it to the gate to ensure you board early, so your fit-to-burst carry-ons don’t get lobbed in the hold. Quick farewell to the family — paying extra to sit together? Don’t make me laugh! — who you’ll next see on the two-hour coach transfer from the absurdly peripheral low-cost carrier hub to the half-built hotel in which you’ve bagged a car-park-view room for a saving of £26 a night.…