Report points to ‘year of financial struggles’

A report from uSwitch.com has indicated that many people around the country could be set for a year of financial and debt management difficulties during 2008.

Reflecting on figures showing that December saw relatively weak retail sales figures, the price comparison firm has concluded that consumers are limiting their spending, but suggests that many people are already in an unfavourable financial position.

In making its case, uSwitch.com points out that there are thought to be close to 4.8 million British consumers who spend more than they earn and almost a million more fund their outgoings through debts.

“Britain is suffering from a bad case of affluenza,” said Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com.

“We are caught in the grip of a spiral of conspicuous consumption where it’s no longer enough to keep up with the Joneses, but instead we want to live like our favourite celebrities.”

Last week, Moneyextra urged British consumers to avoid or help alleviate their debt management problems by seeking out the most competitive personal finance deals available.

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