Brits left with just £148 a month after bills


The average Briton is left with only £148 spending money each month after essential bills and expenses, according to a new ‘disposable income index’ launched this week.

The findings, sponsored by savings bank Scottish Friendly are published on the same day as housing charity Shelter  publish a survey which shows the majority of adults in the south lack sufficient savings to meet their housing costs should they become unemployed.

The new index reveals that despite taking home an average monthly salary of £2,171 after tax, less than a tenth remains after living expenses like mortgage payments or rent and utilities are taken into account.

Nevertheless say Scottish Friendly, paying down debt and building a savings pot remains a priority for many, with over half of people (54 per cent) still managing to save or invest each month. On average, people put aside £72 each month, although nearly half (47 per cent) of those who save, manage to put aside £100 or more.

Part of this may be in anticipation of the worst, with around a quarter of people (25 per cent) believing that their financial situation is likely to worsening over the next three months. Indeed, of those people who are saving, over half (56 per cent) do not have a specific reason for doing so.

Neil Lovatt, product director at Scottish Friendly, said:

“There has been a transformation in the British mindset when it comes to managing finances. In the recent past, household budgets were very much driven by borrowing. However, the emphasis now seems to have gone full circle and we have returned to a post war emphasis on saving and paying down debt, despite many having to deal with a very tight budget.”

“The index has revealed that one in three people think that saving into an ISA or savings account each month is an essential part of the monthly budget, while over half of the UK believes that it is vital to pay into a pension.

“This is particularly true for the younger generation where over a third of 18-24 year olds believe that saving for retirement is a necessity. “


  10 comments for “Brits left with just £148 a month after bills

  1. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    April 14, 2014 at 10:58 am

    This seems to back up Shelter survey. If you are just saving between £72 to £148 per month then your savings pot wont meet your housing costs for any length of time.
    Unaffordable housing costs are squeezing incomes and the solution isn’t to build more unaffordable housing.

  2. Rosie
    April 14, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Many people are also on 0 to £72 “spare” per month, especially those who don’t qualify for benefits but have seen their net incomes reduce drastically (especially where 1 partner loses their job) whilst essential bills have doubled. Re affordable housing, government and councils think that just means social housing (for people who qualify for benefits). However affordable housing is now needed by an ever-increasing percentage of the population who no longer have the spare cash they used to have, not just first time buyers, eg people downsizing, coming out of relationship breakups, the bereaved, etc. As well as the requirement for a third of new housing to be social, there should be a requirement for a further third to be affordable in the true sense.

  3. Sue
    April 14, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Most of the people I know cant afford to save at all. A major cost is rent/mortgage and this really does need to be urgently tackled. Surely everyone deserves a bit of a life and not just that feeling of only just making it to payday before the money runs out :0(

  4. Pete Stewart
    April 15, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Is this it then? Is this why we have waited 40 years in the EU, for a lousy £34 a week pocket money?

    Is this why we have sweated and toiled and agonized and died? For a big fat share of nothing?

    Is this the “great trading arrangement” we have been promised since 1972; the politicians’ golden age of plenty? Or maybe it was THEIR golden age of plenty. Maybe we never figured in their calculations.

    If this is all there is, I say they can stuff it!

    UKIP is right: It’s time to leave the EU.

    • Rigel
      April 16, 2014 at 8:48 am

      Once again Pete you try and squeeze the issue into your UKIP dreamland , do you actually wake up with your pillow in your mouth? The story says few people in the UK would have enough savings to cover their bills if they were to become unemployed. Off you go moaning that the EU is somehow to blame, did everyone have enough savings in 1971 ? was the EU a guaranteed investment vehicle for you baby boomers ?

      look at the graph of saving rates Pete ! UK and US are hardly saving France Germany Italy Spain are …. it destroys your notion that the EU is somehow to blame, The UK has the city , the US has wall street and that is why our finances suck , we have cartels of skilled confidence tricksters ensconced within our government. Look at LIBOR rigging , that raised housing costs by squillions .

      why do our prospective councillors need the ideological base of a national party with an axe to grind ? , it takes us away from the real issues and ruins our chances of decent decision making ….

      Answer : they are lazy dupes and these people give them money

  5. Pete Stewart
    April 17, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Rigel, Rigel, thrice Rigel!

    To avoid pointless arguments about what Eastleigh News said:

    “The average Briton is left with only £148 spending money each month after essential bills and expenses”

    This equals £34 a week. Gulp! I bet if our politicians had told us in 1975 that 40 years later the great EU dream would leave us with only £34 a week pocket money, we’d all have told them to stuff it, rather than voting to stay in (as I did).

    You assert that because France, Spain and Germany are saving, whereas the UK and the US are not, that this destroys my argument that the EU has caused our financial mess.

    But look more closely at our visible trade deficit with the EU: They export to us far more than we export to them. No wonder they are saving and we are not and it’s all down to open EU borders (to goods and services). If we had any sanity we would restore tariffs and border controls and take back the jobs which our globalist masters have given to our economic competitors.

    A good example: Before we joined the EU, almost every car on our roads was made by British workers. Look at it now! How many cars are made by the French, Spanish and German workers you mention?

    Yes, no wonder we are in a mess. This is the mess which the EU has caused and UKIP is right, it’s time to leave the EU.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      April 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      But as as far as I am able to determine Ukip are in favour of free trade and are opposed to protectionism.

      You are saying Ukip would introduce trade barriers?

  6. Pete Stewart
    April 17, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    I believe economies cannot be dualistically classified as “free trade” or “protectionist”, but in reality operate between both extremes, therefore by halting free movement of cheap EU labour into Britain, UKIP would be restricting free trade somewhat and therefore shifting our economy back towards the healthy middle ground, which is where it was before 1973.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      April 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      So no to migrants but yes to cheap Chinese goods?

  7. Rigel
    April 21, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Oh Pete ! so we are both outcompeted by europe and forced to have wages undercut by it’s cheap labour, doesnt that contradict itself ? VW also builds cars in eastern europe exploiting the cheap labour and topping up their own pensions, why didn’t landrover build a plant in budapest … er because those are ‘British Jobs’ right…

    There is no causal link between UK’s Eu membership and UK’s inability to save adequately and UKIP don’t have any answers for anything, they just press the message of ‘no more immigrants’ and then tortuously try to make that appear to be an answer to our problems.

    UK car manufs are less competitive because our wages are too high , this is because our living costs are too high , which is primarily caused by our government being in a symbiotic relationship with billionaire hyenas.

    Germany has a much less exploitative banking system , that is why their industry is superior , France is still essentially a dirigist republic and the people don’t stand for too much from their leaders . Did the EU make the UK sell off it’s water infrastructure and power infrastructure to German and French companies, as we speak these investments are adding to German and French pension schemes. Have they sold off infrastructure to the highest bidder and cashed in on their peoples future , no !

    It is our government that does these things , and EU membership is at worst, just 10% more wasted money, you are not a revolution Pete you are more of the same , but thanks for engaging in the discussion and making that clear.

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