One in 10 ‘spending beyond their means for at least seven months of the year’

One in 10 people spend more money than they have in their current account during at least seven months each year, according to a survey.

More than half of those (59%) surveyed by Censuswide said that they spend more than they earn at least one month per year.

The research was included in a “how Britain spends” report for website TopCashback, which found that, on average, people have £323 left in their current account the day before payday.

But 17% said they have either nothing, or a negative balance left, for example being in an overdraft.

Parents with children under 18 typically have just £179 left in the bank the day before payday, the survey found.

Around two-fifths (41%) of people surveyed said they feel anxious about the cost of living on a weekly basis.

The research also indicated that people with higher salaries were more likely to be spending more than they earned for a higher number of months, perhaps partially an indication of higher earners being able to access credit more easily than those on lower incomes.

Adults earning £35,000 a year or less typically spend more than their salary for two months of the year and those earning over £100,000 a year stretch beyond their means for four months on average, the research found.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of people said they do not have their spending fully under control, with nearly half (47%) citing the rising cost of living as the cause.

Adam Bullock, UK director at TopCashback said: “Our report brings to light just how thinly salaries are being stretched.”

The survey of more than 2,000 people, carried out in August, found that nearly half (48%) of people’s overall spending had increased in the previous three months.

Essential groceries, toiletries and petrol were among the areas where people said their spending had increased.

One quarter (25%) of people surveyed said they make impulse purchases without checking for cheaper alternatives first.

Commenting on the report, Sue Haywood, a personal finance expert, said: “Making your money work harder is essential in the current climate, with so many of us budgeting and planning to make every penny count.

“The fact that people are regularly spending beyond their means is concerning, but sadly not surprising with households facing higher mortgage and food costs, however there are simple steps people can take to get the most from their money.”

She suggested measures including shopping around and using loyalty schemes, adding: “It’s always worth double checking your bank balance to ensure you’re not shelling out on direct debits for old subscriptions you don’t use, or auto renewing insurance policies.”