Increase cost in utilities and fuel causing the biggest strain on consumer finances, warns Callcredit Information Group

AffordabilityIndependent research commissioned by Callcredit has today revealed that 30% of consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to put any of their salaries aside each month as financial pressures continue to squeeze take home pay.

Key Findings:

  • 50 per cent of people who currently have debt have a form of unsecured loan.
  • 30 per cent of those aged 18-24 think it will take be between 5 and 10 years to pay off their debt.
  • 30 per cent of those who have an income say they save none of it.
  • Just over a fifth saves only between 1-5 per cent.
  • 24 per cent confirmed that the cost of Utilities is putting the biggest strain on their finances.
  • 39 per cent of people think that they will spend less money this Christmas than they did at Christmas 2011.

With average credit card and loan balances remaining broadly constant over the last eighteen months the signs are that consumers are finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet, often using their entire take home pay to keep up with the rising cost of living and repayments on financial commitments such as mortgage, credit/store card, overdraft and unsecured loans.

The YouGov research showed that 45 to 54 year olds seem to be feeling the most pain with 40 per cent confirming that they save nothing at all each month and a total of 63 per cent confirming that the cost of either, food, utilities or mortgage repayments were causing the most strain on their finances.

In addition respondents were specifically asked if they would be cutting back on spending this Christmas as a direct impact of the economic climate with 39 per cent confirming they would be intending to do so. However for those with three or more children this figure jumped to 52 per cent.         

Graham Lund, Managing Director, Callcredit Information Group said, "These findings demonstrate that many people are living on a financial knife edge with little or no room to cope with changes in their financial situation. The freeze in the planned January fuel duty announced by the government will no doubt help consumers but as financial pressures continue to mount it is now more important than ever that consumers' don't overstretch themselves."