New research has revealed one in five adults that are single use credit cards and loans to fund their lifestyles, says Insolvency Company Sequestration.net.
A survey by Bright Grey showed 17% of singletons overspend regularly because they want to enjoy their lifestyle, while one in six use their overdrafts to allow them to carry on funding poor spending habits. Some 24% of people claimed they overspent because they were enjoying themselves, while over a third claimed they felt they ‘had to spend’. Those living in shared accommodation were most likely to overspend by a whopping 40% of their monthly budget.
Roger Edwards, proposition director at Bright Grey, said: 'There is a real concern that, for many people, high mortgage and rental prices can mean that spending choices are limited. Yet more worryingly, it seems that the average salary is far too short for some, who just can't help but overspend in order to maintain their existing lifestyle.'
The survey of 2000 people was carried out by Bright Grey last June, and revealed some intriguing statistics. Economists estimate a single person living alone gets a take home pay of £1,267 a month (£15,204 a year), but survey respondents felt that they need £1594 a month (£19,128) – some 26% more – to lead the lifestyle they want to be able to.
A spokesperson for Sequestration.net, one of Scotland’s leading providers of Insolvency advice, said: “If these statistics are right, it seems that the recession has not tempered down the spending habits of single people a great deal. Singles tend to have more disposable cash anyway, so it’s of some surprise that they are managing to overspend. However, it would have been interesting to see how many of those surveyed had the two biggest financial drains – mortgage and children - to worry about.”
“Consistent month by month overspending on this scale, while it feels like only a little extra at the time, can add up to large sums of unsecured debt owed to creditors in the long-term. All it needs is one adverse event – a redundancy or long-term illness – to send someone spiraling into a debt abyss that could take years to recover from.”
The average person in the UK owes just under £10,000 of non-mortgage debt, and many people have been struggling to keep up with their payments due to the action of lenders. As the recession bit, credit card and loan lenders hiked the rates of their financial products with their existing customers, plunging many immediately into crisis as their interest payments rose swiftly.
“The Insolvency Service has reported over 135,000 people either went bankrupt, took out an IVA or debt relief order in 2010,” continued the spokeseperson. “Many of them started out overspending little bits here and there. If you are part of a couple, sometimes you can work together to tackle a debt with two incomes. When you are single, you don’t have anyone to help you like that and often you are left with very little choice when you can’t afford to keep up payments.”
“As household incomes come under pressure from cost of living hikes, pay freezes and possible interest rate rises this year, these singletons need to be thinking about reining in some of their spending before they find themselves in a debt nightmare they can’t escape from,” concluded the spokesperson.