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Brits fail to budget

19 March 2013

In the week that the Chancellor of the Exchequer announces the Budget for the UK, new research reveals that 45% of Brits don't currently have a household budget and many rely on credit cards or overdrafts to see them through to the end of the month.

Less than half (48%) of Brits know exactly what their bills and outgoings are each month, and 30% of people admit to budgeting just by keeping an eye on their bank balance.  49% of those surveyed didn't have a set budget for ‘spending money', and 21% confessed to just buying things and working out how to pay for them later. 

The survey commissioned by Gocompare.com found that of those people who had not made a personal budget:

  • 17% end up having an outstanding balance on their credit card most months;
  • 14% end up using their overdraft most months;
  • 11% need to use their credit card most months;
  • 3% have had to apply for a pay day or short term loan in the last 12 months.

Jeremy Cryer from Gocompare.com, commented: "Many people assume that you only need to budget if you have very limited income or are already in financial difficulty.  But budgeting is simply about knowing how much money you have, where it goes and planning how best to allocate it to achieve the things you want - helping to put you in control of your money, whatever your income.

"Our survey revealed that less than half of those surveyed know all their monthly bills and what their incomings and outgoings are.  But capturing all your outgoings, including food and housing related costs, transport, entertainment, debts, insurance and savings commitments is the essential first step in setting your personal budget.  If after assessing all your outgoings you find that they exceed your income, then you need to review your spending, prioritising necessities and removing any non-essential purchases.  Budgeting can help you save money by letting you see where you can make cutbacks on unnecessary spending, helping you to avoid overdraft fees or credit card interest."    

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Notes to editors:

On the 4th-6th March 2013, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,019 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.