Millions of Britons ’empty handed at end of month’

Debt many be among the main reason why millions of British adults are left with no money spare at the end of each month.

A study by Scott…

Debt many be among the main reason why millions of British adults are left with no money spare at the end of each month.

A study by Scottish Widows has found 8.2 million people (16 per cent of the adult population) are left with nothing at the end of the month, while a further 9.8 million have less than £50 left and 4.4 million feel uncertain about their financial futures.

The figure applies to the situation once people have paid all their essential bills, which can include debts like mortgages and credit cards.

And the survey revealed a lack of financial security is often due to debt, with 21 per cent blaming this factor for their situation.

Moreover, the situation is worse than a year ago, with 21 per cent saying they have "a lot less money spare at the end of the month than a year ago and 26 per cent saying they have "a little less", while 15 per cent say their finances have been hit hard by the economic climate.

Describing the difficulty facing many people, savings expert at Scottish Widows Catherine Stewart said: "Families are feeling the pinch as tough economic conditions continue; outgoings are increasing while income largely remains the same, as a result of pay freezes."

She identified "neglect" of future finances as a consequence of this, with many doing little to save for the future.

At the same time, the survey showed many people are making adjustments by spending less cash, with 47 per cent reducing luxury spending and 32 per cent putting holidays on hold, while 29 per cent are not saving because they cannot afford to.

The situation may continue to be difficult as Britain has been tipped to stutter along with low economic growth over the next few months.

Earlier this week, the British Chambers of Commerce unveiled its Quarterly Economic Survey for the first three months of 2012, which said the UK will not have slipped back into recession but will only see gross domestic product rise by 0.6 per cent this year.

By Joe White

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