New research reveals that 4.5 million UK adults - that’s one in eleven - have less than £10 to live on each month after they’ve paid the bills.
The research, released by thinkmoney, reveals the extent of a squeeze on incomes as wages consistently fail to rise with inflation. This week it was announced that the minimum wage would increase to £6.31 for adults, however groups such as The Resolution Foundation, a think tank which focusses on living standards, said that the minimum wage is in effect falling because of inflation.
According to thinkmoney’s report, the average monthly disposable income - money left to spend after bills, rent and other financial commitments have been met - is £224.50. However, there are dramatic differences to be found between various groups of people. For example, a striking gender disparity can be seen, with the average disposable income for men at £272.50, while the average woman has just £190.20.
The amount of disposable income people had also varied by region. London was the area in which people appeared best off, with an average amount of £269.50, while the North East and Wales were the worst off, with average disposable incomes of £199 and £181 respectively. Worryingly, 1 in 6 people surveyed in Wales said that they had less than £10 a month to spend after paying the bills.
Young people are the age group with the lowest disposable income, at an average of £174.20 per month - 22% below the overall average. Almost 1 in 3 people in this group said that they had less than £50 a month to spare. By contrast, over 65s appeared the wealthiest, with an average disposable income of £269.50.
Having next to nothing left after paying the bills can be distressing. Ian Williams, director of communications at thinkmoney, said:
“It’s stressful not knowing if you will have enough money to pay the bills and afford added extras each month”.
While the cost of living remains high relative to wages, careful budgeting and financial planning at an everyday level is of paramount importance, to avoid being drawn into bad credit and falling into a debt spiral.