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Consumers 'Deeply Concerned' About Finances

Mar 9, 2008
People are increasingly worried about their finances, a new piece of research reveals.

In the latest survey by the Co-operative Bank, just under half (48 per cent) of Britons state that they are either "concerned or deeply concerned" about how much they are in the red. Findings from the financial services provider also revealed that women are more likely to be worried about monetary matters than men, with 80 per cent of all people "troubled" by the lack of cash they have put away for later life. Overall, it was revealed that the typical consumer will spend 16,848 hours over the course of their lifetime worrying about their finances. Such a figure equates to 730 days - about two years.

Due to spending a considerable portion of their lives thinking about money, it is possible that many people are worried about their ability to pay utility bills, council tax and mortgage and rent costs. Such concerns could also extend to personal loans, plastic cards and overdrafts.

Furthermore, those living in the north-west appear to be the most anxious about their debts. An estimated 78 per cent of consumers from this region claim to be "stressed or very stressed" with regards to money, with 76 and 75 per cent of Londoners and Scots respectively that they hold such concerns. On the other hand, just over two-thirds (69 per cent) of those resident in Northern Ireland are worried. Young people were also revealed to be spending a significant amount of time each week worrying about their money. Meanwhile, just a fifth of those with a cash-based individual savings account were revealed to make full use of the tax-free savings product.

Commenting on the findings, Scott McPhail, savings product manager for the Co-operative Bank, said: "It is worryingly clear from the research that the vast majority of UK adults are deeply concerned about their finances, with rising levels of debt and inadequate saving provisions responsible for countless sleepless nights nationwide." However, it may not all be bad news for Britons as he added "it's never too late to regain control of your finances". Mr McPhail went on to suggest that investing money into a cash-based individual savings account is one way in which consumers can relieve pressure on their capacity for money management.

For those who are concerned about their ability to save money for the future, taking out a debt consolidation loan might be of help. Although this type of loan represents another area of financial constraint, borrowers may be able to merge a number of demands on their spending, such as household bills and plastic card debts, into a single low-cost repayment. This may free up more money to invest into savings accounts each month.

A debt consolidation loan could be of particular use to people worried about the effect of rising energy bills. Last month, it was revealed that utilities provider ScottishPower had increased gas and electricity costs on its standard tariff by 15 and 14 per cent respectively. Such a move, uSwitch pointed out, would see about half of the firm's customers see annual dual fuel bills rise to 1,100 pounds - a surge of 141 pounds from the previous average of 959 pounds.
About the Author
Mark Dawson writes for the the Loan Arrangers where you can compare UK loans and apply online for the cheapest secured loans, and adverse credit loans.
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