Money difficulties can lead to mental health problems including anxiety and depression
Money difficulties can lead to mental health problems including anxiety and depression

Large percentage of Britons feel they are living beyond their means, finds survey

'It’s a sad fact that most of us are familiar with the feeling of purse strings tightening as payday fades into a distant memory'

Grant Bailey
Wednesday 02 May 2018 12:04
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A large percentage of Britons feel they are living beyond their means, a survey has found.

A large percentage of those polled admitted to falling back on credit cards and overdrafts when wages fail to last until the end of the month.

Of the 2,000 people questioned, 43 per cent have a credit card to deal with excess spending, 10 per cent have an overdraft and 20 per cent have both as provisions for when times get difficult.

Credit card holders who took part in the research admitted spending up to around £269.17 per month on their card in an attempt to get by.

Of those with an overdraft, 17 per cent said they often found themselves going into the red as payday approaches.

“It’s a sad fact that most of us are familiar with the feeling of purse strings tightening as payday fades into a distant memory." said James Buttrick of Vantage Leasing, which commissioned the research. “When funds are running dry, most Britons have a fall-back set up which they can plunder as needed, but this shouldn’t be seen as a long-term solution to cash flow problems.

“Many of us could take a look at our lives and endeavour to make smarter money choices going forward to keep our spending habits in check, curbing spontaneous, big ticket purchases for more sensible payment plans."

Of those going into their overdraft or spending on their credit card, 36 per cent blamed overzealous spending at the beginning of the month, straight after pay day, for their drought in later weeks. Just over half (53 per cent) said they had been caught unaware by a bill or payment which has left their remaining funds low.

Thirty seven per cent identified a financial blind-spot in their spending which eats away at their earning each month. Of these, 57 per cent named food as their financial weakness and 41 per cent thought they were too liberal with treating themselves.

In an effort to minimise spending, three in five have made adjustments to their daily expenditure.

Of these, 48 per cent had started taking packed lunches to work and 35 per cent had cancelled non-essential direct debits.

One in seven have sold a big ticket item like their car in order to give their bank account an emergency cash injection. Thirteen per cent felt they were terrible at dealing with money, although 35 per cent said they are great at navigating their way around their finances.

Mr Buttrick said: “When payday arrives and our pockets are deepest, this is when we are at the biggest risk of irresponsible spending.

“Whether it’s some new threads you’ve had an eye on all month, a big night out to celebrate or a bigger ticket item like a car or home furnishing, it is worth taking a moment to take stock as impulse purchases could mean your riches are short-lived."

SWNS

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