60% of adults know what it feels like to be penniless

Many people in the UK are currently struggling with their finances so much so they do not have a penny to their name.

According to new research fro…

Many people in the UK are currently struggling with their finances so much so they do not have a penny to their name.

According to new research from the Debt Advisory Centre, 30 million adults in the UK know just what it feels like to be totally penniless – that's 60 per cent of the entire population.

Meanwhile, ten million people are finding themselves out of cash either regularly or from time to time.

The study defined being out of money as having nothing in the bank, no cash – or at least very little – in the wallet or purse and having no access to other funds.

Reasons for the lack of cash

While individuals run out of money for several reasons, the most common is because they cannot make ends meet from month to month. Nine million people said they are skint because their income simply does not match their necessary expenditure.

For many, once essentials like rent, food and council tax is paid, there is no cash left in the bank and if there is still a while until pay day this can create a huge problem, especially for families.

A further 26 per cent said unexpected bills and expenses are causing them to run out of money. For example, if the boiler decides to need repairing it will put a significant dent in the monthly budget.

For reasons such as this, it is important for people to have a back up fund that can cover life's little emergencies.

Some 15 per cent of individuals said they are overspending and this is leading to an empty wallet towards the end of the month, while redundancy and unemployment is a major reason for 11 per cent.

Interestingly, a further 11 per cent are struggling to keep up with debt repayments. This has become a big problem in the UK and many could potentially benefit from a debt management plan.

Age and gender make a big difference in finances

People aged 25-34 are more than three times as likely to find themselves penniless, while those aged over 55 are the least, although they were the most prone to say they had been skint in the past.

Meanwhile, in terms of location, more than half of people in the south-east (51 per cent) have been out of money at some point, showing the growing pressures of living in the area.

Being penniless can have severe negative effects on individuals and is incredibly stressful. The study found adults react in varying ways to this kind of tension. It appears gender plays a key role as the studyrevealed women are 39 per cent more likely than men to feel anxious or upset when they are out of cash, while they are 15 per cent more prone to get panicky.

Meanwhile, men are 20 per cent more likely than women to feel depressed, and get angry about it a lot more.

Ian Williams, director of communications at the Debt Advisory Centre, said: "Being skint can be the worst feeling in the world. It can lead to social isolation and depression as well as eviction and legal problems."

By Amy White

Find out more about money management on the ClearDebt blog.

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