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Millions 'On The Edge' Of Debt Difficulties

Aug 18, 2007
Britons are increasingly living on a financial "edge", it has been suggested.

In research carried out by Combined Insurance, just under a quarter of adults (23 per cent) do not have any money put into savings schemes. However, the study suggested that some could be facing further financial pressures as about a third of parents with children under the age of seven have nothing put away for a "rainy day".

Meanwhile, eight per cent have less than 100 pounds in such accounts, while 28 per cent have stored away 100 to 1,000 pounds - a figure "well under" the average monthly income. Findings from the financial services firm also showed that there are more people in their 30s (28 per cent) who do not have savings than there are teenagers (27 per cent).

Commenting on the study, Nigel Brittle, director for Combined Insurance, said: "Over the last two years, our community research has revealed that many Brits can see the cost of living going up, yet an alarming number have no savings at all. The longstanding rule of thumb that people should have three months' salary in savings has gone out the window as many people are simply living from hand to mouth. The nation is living on the edge."

However, financial pressures could be set to deepen for a significant number of consumers as Combined Insurance reported that two-thirds of people saw their utility bills rise during 2006. Research also showed that 56 per cent of respondents witnessed at least one negative financial surprise last year.

The research also revealed that over the course of last year, the typical British homeowner saw their mortgage repayments increase by ten per cent, with running costs for cars posting a rise of 12 per cent. Meanwhile, after servicing bills payments, credit cards and personal loans, in addition to essential living expenses, the average consumer was reported to be left with 27 pounds to live on every week.

Despite concerns over the financial pressures people living in London face due to rising travel, property and living costs, the study showed that the residents in the capital are less prepared financially than expected as 22 per cent of those in the city do not have any savings. Across Britain, the south-west was reported to financially living on the edge the most as 29 per cent are yet to put money away, with this proportion falling to 27 per cent for people living in the north-west. The south-east of England and East Anglia were shown to be the most prepared as just more than four out of five consumers in each region have some sort of saving scheme.

Meanwhile, it has been suggested that those looking to pay off various creditors, which could allow them to free up money to put into savings accounts, may wish to make use of debt consolidation loans. Earlier this year, David Kuo, head of personal finance for the Motley Fool, suggested that such borrowing can prove a "welcome lifeline" for those struggling with their monthly spending. However, he warned that consumers opting to do so should to be careful not borrow further as they will only exacerbate their financial woes.
About the Author
Mark Dawson writes for the Loan Arrangers. Where visitors can compare loans online, and apply for the best secured loans rate available to them. To read more articles from Mark go to http://news.loan-arrangers.co.uk
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