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More UK workers are living pay cheque to pay cheque despite improving economy, finds survey

Nearly half (49%) of workers say they are living pay cheque to pa ycheque just to make ends meet (up from 42 per cent in 2013). This is according to CareerBuilder’s survey of 1000 workers across the UK conducted by Consumer Analysis Limited during August 2014. An additional, 26 per cent say they sometimes live pay cheque to pay cheque, down from 30 per cent in 2013. 

While 71 per cent (down from 74 per cent last year) of workers claim to be more financially responsible since before the recession, the ability to make ends meet has come as a result of cut backs they have had to make in their everyday lives. When asked what tactics they used to make ends meet, workers said:

&middot         Cut back on leisure activities – 49%

&middot         Stopped eating out – 42%

&middot         Use coupons/vouchers/shopped at discount stores – 42%

&middot         Drove less to save on petrol – 25 %

&middot         Used public transport – 13%

&middot         Cancelled TV and other subscriptions  – 12%

&middot         Took a second job – 10%

Though workers say they have given things up to help with their financial situation, there a few things that, when asked, they could absolutely not live without, including their internet connection (54%), mobile devices (34%), driving (27%), and travelling (15%).

“Only thirty per cent of workers say that they are currently earning their desired salary. Maintaining that desired quality of life is front of mind for workers and they are being forced to make adjustments to stretch their paycheques and merely get by,” said Scott Helmes, Managing Director of CareerBuilder UK.

The fallout from the recession may be causing not just short-term problems for workers, but long-term issues as well as some people are not focused on their financial future. Thirty-one per cent of workers say they are not saving any money each month, while 22 per cent save less than &pound50 and 36 per cent less than &pound100.  

Helmes offers the following tips for improving financial health:

&Oslash  Audit your expenses immediately!- Takeout coffee, restaurant lunches and other common everyday expenses can make a dent in your bank account. Create a spreadsheet to analyse what you spend each month, and once you can see where your money goes, you can more easily see where you can cut back.

&Oslash  Every little bit counts for your future– Regardless of the amount, set aside money each month for your short and long-term savings. If you have trouble remembering or fitting savings into your budget, try setting up an automatic transfer into a savings account.

&Oslash  Investigate your savings and discounts - Talk to your HR department about how you can make the most of the benefits at your organisation. Find out if your company offers discounts to stores or for other services, and ask about how you can make sure you’ve selected the right benefits plans for your budget.


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