A study has revealed the average Brit has to live a lavish lifestyle on a budget of less than £10 a day.
The research, commissioned by salary linked benefits provider Salary Finance, took a poll of 2,000 adults and revealed after shelling out for the necessary expenses of adult life, like rent or mortgage, bills and food, the average Brit has just £276 left.
I’ll be honest, £276 a month sounds like a reasonable enough amount to me, but maybe I’m just stingy? For those who are out eating, drinking and partaking in retail therapy multiple days a week, it probably doesn’t stretch that far.
45 per cent of those polled claimed to have months where there was no spare income at all to splash out on some of the lighter things in life, while more than four in 10 of the participants admitted they felt they’d never earn enough money to give them a decent amount of spare cash.
For those who do have leftover money, there’s no prizes for guessing what it gets spent on.
Everybody’s favourite pastime, going out for food, which accounts for around £61 a month.
Other popular luxuries include saving for a holiday, new clothes, nights out to the cinema, pub or a gig, hobbies and splashing out on pets.
Asesh Sarkar, CEO and co-founder at Salary Finance, said:
For many, the main reason for going to work is to earn a living.
But while we want to be able to pay the bills, it would be nice to have at least a little bit left over to spend on some of the lighter things in life.
Unfortunately, it seems for many, there is just not enough money to go around and they are left with very little spare cash after paying out for all of the essentials.
This can lead to feelings of stress and even depression concerning financial wellbeing, which can impact people both personally and professionally.
Researchers learned that from the average monthly income of £1,812, the biggest hit comes from rent or mortgages, while food and drink accounts for just over £222 per person each month.
Utility bills take another £188 a month, while TV, internet and phones cost another £61 in the total monthly outgoings.
Add to that direct debits, credit cards, loan repayments and the cost of commuting, it’s no surprise most of us just barely make it until payday.
As a result, the average adult estimates they spend around £201 a month spoiling themselves.
Of course, those numbers change if you have a money-sucking little bundle of joy in your life. Parents in the study revealed they face extra monthly bills, childcare costs and school-related expenses which sees their monthly disposable income drop by a whopping £231.
One in 20 of those studied would describe their financial situation as ‘poor’, while another 33 per cent said they ‘just about make ends meet’.
41 per cent admitted to feeling envious of friends, relatives and colleagues who seemingly have more disposable income than they do.
But even those with the best intentions have trouble sticking to a budget, as while 49 per cent of people try to manage their money, 22 per cent usually fail to stay within their limits and go an average of £122 over budget each month.
More than three in 10 admitted they would have more money and disposable income if they were better at budgeting and managing their money, but sometimes the temptation to splash out is just too strong.
Money worries affect 40 per cent of UK employees, and our extensive research within this sector shows that this is not linked to salary amount as you may expect.
In fact, financial wellbeing is related more to saving, spending and borrowing habits, meaning those that do manage to save some money each month feel happier and are less stressed by their financial situation.
Of course, we know a lack of disposable income, among other things, can make saving hard to spend, including barriers such as time.
The CEO went on:
That is why salary linked saving can be beneficial to many, as money is directed straight into a savings account meaning it is not ‘missed’ and there is no time spent popping this money into a savings account.
This helps people feel happier knowing that they have this money for any emergencies – or treat themselves on a rainy day.
Check out what the average Brit spends each month:
Rent or Mortgage: £270.13
Food shopping: £222.59
Utility bills: £187.80
TV/ Internet bills: £61.01
Other direct debits: £54.69
The list goes on:
Loan/ credit card repayments: £84.17
Travel to work/ commuting: £55.71
Put into savings: £171.51
Car payment: £46.37
Going out/ socialising: £71.99
Wait, there’s more:
Sports/ hobbies: £37.74
Eating out: £61.30
School-related expenses: £50.70
I think we could all do with improving our budgeting skills to help save money; or perhaps a more simple solution would be that we all get paid more?
We can dream!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.