More than four in 10 Britons struggle to make ends meet financially, study finds

'It’s hard to cut back when it’s the basic bills which you are finding difficult to pay'

Gemma Francis
Monday 23 April 2018 16:30 BST
Forty-nine per cent blame their problems on the rising cost of food
Forty-nine per cent blame their problems on the rising cost of food

More than four in 10 Britons admit they struggle to make ends meet financially, a poll has found.

The findings, from a survey of 2,000 UK adults, revealed 43 per cent said they were short of the money they need to pay the bills for an average of seven months each year. One quarter said money was an uphill battle for them every single month.

As a result, the average adult was forced to use their credit cards or overdraft to get them through to payday for four out of every 12 months, with one in 10 saying this is the case each month.

Six in 10 said they felt like they were never going to make ends meet on their current salary.

“With rising costs and wages not following suit, it’s not a surprise so many people are struggling," a spokesman for OnePoll, which carried out the research, said. “Living costs are getting more expensive each year, whether it’s the fuel we need to put in our cars, utility bills or the price of food.

“But struggling to make ends meet can be extremely stressful – it’s hard to cut back when it’s the basic bills which you are finding difficult to pay.”

The survey found 49 per cent blamed the rising cost of food, while another 46 per cent put it down to utility bills becoming more expensive. Thirteen per cent claimed their benefits did not stretch far enough and the same number said the same about their pensions.

Fifteen per cent even said their financial issues leave them feeling unable to provide for their family.

More than one in five said they had been so desperate for money, they had gone without “nice” food, while another one in 10 said they had been unable to find the money to put fuel in their car.

Four in 10 had gone without new clothes and a third had sacrificed a night out with friends. Fifteen per cent said they had avoided turning their heating on as they did not have the money to pay for it.

Thirty-one per cent currently owe an average of £9,131 to their bank, credit card company and even friends and family members.

In an attempt to increase their capital, almost one in five sell their unused and unwanted belongings at car boot sales, while 25 per cent have turned to online auction sites.

Fifteen per cent have taken a second job and almost one in twenty have offered to clean for friends.

But one in five admit to relying on buying a lottery ticket to bring in more money, with another one in 10 turning to gambling on sports or the horses.

It also emerged that the stress of dealing with the financial pressures is having an impact on the physical and mental health of 15 per cent of Britons.


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