- Half of Brits admit to living beyond their means
- 42% of people see credit and overdrafts as an extension of their bank balance
- One in seven say they never put money aside
- Over 55% contribute to a pension, paying an average of £105 per month
Despite the best of intentions, half of British adults are still living beyond their means. Living expenses and personal debt are cited as the main reasons for this, but the additional cost of holidays, socialising, mobile phones and family expenditure means many of us are overspending by as much as £150 a month.
It also emerged that millions of spend-happy Brits are failing to put money aside into savings or pay into pensions because they don’t have any money left over at the end of the month.
The study of 2,000 adults, found that 48 per cent don’t always live within their means, with one in ten often relying on credit cards and overdrafts to get them through each month.
But, while 40 per cent put their overspending down to simply not earning enough to cover their day-to-day costs, more than one in ten are guilty of wanting to appear to have more money than they do.
Almost a quarter stretch themselves financially to make sure their children don’t go without, while 21 per cent just can’t resist buying things, even if they can’t afford it.
Not realising they don’t have the money until after they have bought things, losing jobs and having to get used to living on a reduced salary are among the other reasons for living beyond their means.
It also emerged that 42 per cent of people admit they see credit cards and overdrafts as an extension of their bank balance, with 60 per cent admitting they need to make more effort to stay in the black.
One in five don’t, or wouldn’t, change their lifestyle to reflect their financial situation, with the internet named as the thing Brits would be least willing to give up (35 per cent), even if it meant living beyond their means.
Top ten things Brits wouldn’t give up, even if it meant living beyond their means:
2. Mobile phone
3. Annual holiday
4. Run a car/motorbike
5. A takeaway/meal out
6. A night out with friends
7. Sky TV subscription
8. Pay into my pension
10. Pay for life insurance/ critical illness
Even the smallest lifestyle adjustment can make a huge difference to your finances. Having a packed lunch instead of eating out, for example, can save up to £20 per week. In a year, this is almost £1,000 saved and, over a lifetime, up to £40,000!
This article is based on interviews with 2,000 consumers between 2-9th Nov 2013, carried out online via One Poll research.