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Britons struggling to make it to payday

Britons struggling to make it to payday

Category: Money

Updated: 21/09/2010
First Published: 21/09/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The British public are finding it increasingly difficult to stretch their wages across a full month.

More than four in ten adults in the UK (42%) said they struggle to make it to payday, according to R3.

Of those experiencing financial problems, 11% said this was a regular occurrence, while 31% claimed hanging on for their wages was something that happened occasionally.

The research comes against a backdrop of increasing personal insolvencies.

"Over the course of the last decade, personal insolvencies have increased by 350% and it is very worrying that over 40% of the British population are finding it a struggle financially to get through the month," R3's president, Steven Law, commented.

"This is a huge stress in itself and factors such as inflation associated with basic living costs and potential rises in interest rates will not make this monthly struggle any easier."

One of the main causes for this monthly struggle is credit card repayments, cited as a key factor by 35% of those who sometimes struggle to make their money stretch until payday.

Spending on going out and other non-essentials is also eating away at the nation's finances, with a quarter of people who count down the days until they get paid saying it was a factor in their inability to make their wages last.

Paying off bank loans, big ticket items and mortgage repayments were also cited.

If you're struggling with credit card repayments, it might be worth checking your existing rate.

If it's particularly high, a 0% balance transfer could help, as it allows you a certain period – often more than a year – in which you pay off only your balance without adding interest on top.

You should also scrutinise your utility bills. If they seem too high, it could be that you could save money every month by combining your services with the same provider.

By the same token, undertaking a review of mobile phone contracts, gym memberships, television packages and other significant outgoings could help you find some savings.

And on the subject of savings, if you happen to have some funds set aside for a rainy day, you may wish to re-evaluate whether you current savings account still offers a competitive rate of interest.

Pulling all these factors together, the most important thing to do if you're not already is putting together a strict budget and sticking to it.

Think about every purchase you make. Do you really need it? If you do, can you get it cheaper elsewhere?

Of course, there is no such thing as a magic wand, and many may already be in serious financial trouble.

Debt advice specialists such as the CCCS and Debt Free Direct offer free and impartial advice to those with debt problems.

Helpful information can also be found in Debt Free Direct's Debt Advice Guide,
Debt Management Plan Guide and IVA Guide, which can all be downloaded for free.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.