80% of UK population have money worries

June 21, 2011

Research by The Co-operative Bank has revealed that the majority (80%)* of UK adults are worried about the state of their finances, with all areas of family finances being scrutinised with a view to save money.

The top money worries causing sleepless nights are as follows:

Money Worry Percentage
1. Utility / energy bill price rises 21%
2. Personal Debt 21%
3. Fuel price rises / transport costs 15%
4. Employment situation 12%
5. Food price rises 11%
6. Lack of savings 8%
7. Interest rate rises 4%
8. Studying expenses 3%

According to the research, women (86%) are more likely to worry about money than men (74%) despite the fact that men who overspend do so by an average £232.78 every month in comparison to women who overspend by an average of £212.14 a month.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that on average 30% of people overspend by £2,660 every year, nearly a third (32%) of UK adults do not feel confident that they can pay their bills every month. Over a quarter (28%) of these admit to missing bill payments completely with credit card companies (33%), telephone providers (14%) and electricity companies (10%) being hardest hit. A third (33%) of those polled who have missed payments have done so for more than one month.

However, the research has revealed that Brits are acknowledging the importance of savings with half (50%) currently saving on average £230 into an account every month – a slight rise on average monthly savings last year of £225.

The survey has also revealed that through being thrifty households have managed to save an average of £513 on general living expenses this year mainly by cutting down on non-essential spending.

Brits have also cut down spending on nights out by 36% with the average monthly spend now standing at £107. Over half (53%) of people are simply not going out as much anymore whilst more people are attending house parties (14%) and many people (6%) are cutting back on their bar bill by drinking before they go out.

Likewise over half (57%) of people have cut back on their eating out spend by a third (33%) with the average monthly spend now standing at £102 in comparison to £153 last year.

Despite the stereotypical view that women spend more money than men on clothes the survey has shown that, whilst over half of UK adults are set to save £631 a year by cutting back on the amount of new clothes they are purchasing, men are set to spend £122 every month on clothes with women planning to spend less at £102 a month. Over a quarter of women (26%) are even planning to cut back on the amount of shoes they buy.

John Hughes, Director of Retail Banking at the Co-operative Financial Services, said "The fact that 80% of consumers are currently worried about money is a saddening yet unsurprising figure given the current economic climate and increasing cost of living. However the research findings also demonstrate some hope, nearly a third are continuing to overspend and this is something that can be addressed to help put money worries to bed.

"By taking an organised approach to finances, consumers can plan ahead and avoid financial pitfalls such as missed bill payments that end up leading to additional charges. Currently almost a third of consumers lose money this way. Reviewing bank statements to pick out your non-essential spending habits is also a good habit to get into. Cutting back on spend on areas such as regular meals out and nights on the town has seen households save as much as £513 this year.

"Consumers are already taking positive steps to put money away and this has seen average monthly savings increase this year. We expect to see this trend even more in the coming year as high living costs continue to alter peoples' outlook on money, encouraging them to shop around for the best deal and assess their outgoings more closely."

Top 5 tips to managing money from the Co-operative Bank

  • Regularly review your bank statements - identify what's eating your money and see where you can save. Simple steps such as taking lunch into work can help savings to mount up
  • Plan ahead - having an idea of what is due to go out of your account will help you to meet regular bill payments and put money aside accordingly
  • Shop around to make your money go further - try using comparison sites and look into alternative providers to get a better deal
  • Start a rainy day fund - transfer a set amount each month into a savings account so your always covered for unexpected expenses
  • Live more efficiently - turning off lights and not wasting water or food will make your money go further and look after the environment

For further information please contact

Jenna Moss / Catherine Laycock

The Co-operative Financial Services Press Office

Tel: 0161 903 3831 / 3833

Email : jenna.moss@cfs.coop / catherine.laycock@cfs.coop

Twitter: @CFSpressteam


Notes to Editors

*Survey conducted by OnePoll in May 2011, questioning 2,000 representative sample of UK adults


About The Co-operative Financial Services

The Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) is part of The Co-operative Group, which is the world’s largest consumer co-operative with around five million members, over £14 billion turnover, and core business interests in financial services, food, travel, pharmacy and funeral care. The Co-operative Group has over 5,000 retail trading outlets.

Following the merger with Britannia Building Society on 1 August 2009, the new organisation is one of the largest and well diversified mutual businesses operating in both retail and corporate markets.

As part of The Co-operative Group, the new business is characterised by its unique ethical and member reward policies and very high levels of customer advocacy.

The combined business has £70 billion in assets, 12,000 staff and nine million customers. It has over 300 high street branches, 20 corporate banking centres and a major presence in Leek , London, Manchester, Plymouth, Skelmersdale and Stockport.

It is the only mutual organisation that enables its members to earn financial rewards for the products they hold, as well as giving them the opportunity to have a say in how the business is run.