With another expensive Christmas period behind us, a new survey reveals the bad spending habits leaving Brits struggling to survive from an early December payday until their first wage of the new year.
10,000 people in the UK were asked by finance specialist Solution Loans which reckless spending behaviour they were guilty of – and between spontaneous shopping sprees, mounting monthly bills and living beyond our limits, it’s no surprise many office workers are finding it hard to make their wages stretch until the end of January.
Every year, stories of Brits struggling to make December’s pay stretch until their next payday hit the headlines – and the results of this survey have revealed the key obstacles making the most expensive month of the year that little bit harder to afford.
43% of all Brits surveyed revealed they can’t help making unnecessary impulse purchases, making this the nation’s ultimate bad spending habit.
In office environments, this can be a particularly easy mistake to make – as the seemingly negligible costs associated with buying something for lunch, rather than bringing a pre-packed alternative, can really mount up over the months.
Bills, bills, bills
When it comes to TV, phone and internet bills, it looks like some Brits are paying over the odds – with 24% of participants revealing they’ve failed to negotiate a better deal on their monthly payments.
When it comes to financial negotiations, office workers looking for a bit more breathing room could benefit from asking their employer for a pay review in a bid to make ongoing costs more affordable.
37% of Scots and a substantial 45% of people in the North East of England admitted they’re paying more than they could be each month because they won’t haggle with their monthly providers – compared with only 11% of North West locals.
Monthly subscriptions like Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime are also leaving Brits strapped for cash – as a fifth of Brits confessed that they’re wasting money on subscriptions they don’t actually use.
A substantial 40% of North East locals said they pay for unused subscriptions, versus just 17% of people living in Yorkshire.
Living beyond limits
The results of the survey also show many Brits are breaking the bank when their basic income just won’t stretch far enough – and in January, this problem reaches its pinnacle.
17% of people surveyed revealed they depend on their overdraft every month – with Brits going beyond their means to keep up with monthly expenses.
Perhaps surprisingly, it looks like Generation Y has the least to learn about money management – with almost a quarter of 45-54 year olds admitting to being constantly overdrawn, compared to just 16% of Brits aged 25-34.
13% of respondents said they rely on using credit cards to cover everyday purchases, with South East locals being more dependent on plastic than any other region of the UK.
With 18% of 18-24 year olds admitting to regularly exceeding the limits of their contract, phone bills are costing young people in Britain a bundle.
If there’s one common denominator here, it’s people of the UK paying more than they need to for everyday essentials – and one simple and effective way to trim costs is to think about transport expenses.
Employees could drastically cut down on the cost of their commute by choosing to cycle to the office rather than taking the car, or even consider telecommuting to work to eliminate travel costs entirely.
Some Brits will need to break the habit of a lifetime to avoid a cash-strapped 2017 – but by putting their spending under the microscope, office workers across the UK can turn unnecessary expenses into exciting savings.
Respondents were able to select multiple answers to the following question:
Which of these bad spending habits do you have?
- Making unnecessary impulse purchases: 42.6%
- Failing to negotiate better deals on monthly bills: 23.7%
- Paying for subscriptions you don’t use: 20.2%
- Living in your overdraft: 17.0%
- Using credit cards for everyday essentials: 13.0%
- Exceeding your phone contract limits: 12.5%
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