New data reveals
While a significant 63 per cent of the UK admit to being in debt, new research from VoucherCodes’ Annual Cost of Living Life Report reveals that there has been a year on year reduction in the amount of new debt that Brits have accrued since the start of the year, with the average Brit taking out £363 in new debt in 2017, down from £446 in 2016. Despite this, it seems the nation is still struggling to stay on top of their finances, with over a quarter (27 per cent) confessing they are clueless as to just how much debt they are in.
The study over 2,000 UK adults found that while men have borrowed slightly more than women since the start of the year (£389 versus £344), where age is concerned, millennials are seemingly struggling to make ends meet, with 18 to 34’s borrowing more money since January than any other age group in the UK. Perhaps in response to the increasing cost of living and strained disposable incomes for many young people, millennials took out £540 in new debt in 2017, more than double over 55’s average of just £202.
Looking across the UK, those in Plymouth have borrowed the most money nationwide since the start of the year at £997, followed by those in Bristol (£497) and Birmingham (£426), all of which have undergone redevelopment in recent years, with rising property prices and new retail and leisure facilities in the regions pushing up the overall cost of living for many. Despite this, surprisingly, it’s Londoners who are among those who have the worst grips on their finances, with people in London and Northern Ireland being the most in the dark about money matters.
The survey of over 2,000 UK adults found that in line with 2016, student loans are the costliest driver of debt for those that have borrowed money since the start of the year (£5,162), followed by bank loans (£2,886) and credit cards (£1,378). But even in light of this nationwide debt, just 7 per cent of Brits believe they need to get better at money management, with over half of Brits (54 per cent) claiming they are ‘very clear’ on the current state of their personal finances.