Money Wellness
illustration of stressed out young man looking at bills
category icondebts
calendar icon18 Mar 2024

32% of Brits living beyond their means

Around 32% of UK adults are pressured to spend more than they can afford, according to new research from Nerdwallet, the personal finance firm. 

 Nerdwallet found:

  • millennials are the highest age group to find themselves in debt, with 44% using credit cards, overdrafts or personal loans at least sometimes to pay for their lifestyle.
  • 64% of men are more willing to take on debt to pay for their lifestyle, compared with 47% of women.
  • People in higher income brackets use more debt than those in lower income brackets, with those earning £34,963 more likely to use debt to fund their lifestyle, and can often find themselves in debt. 

Overall, around 30% of the 2,000 UK adults surveyed are using credit cards at least some of the time.

The survey also found where our spending priorities lie.

Most essential: broadband internet

Very important: Mortgage repayments and fuel costs

After those essential costs, it was found 30% of those surveyed consider wellness activities such as gym memberships, somewhat or very important. 43% of UK adults prioritise spending on hair and beauty appointments.

Amy Knight, spokesperson at NerdWallet UK, said: “There seems to be a worrying trend when it comes to consumers feeling pressured to overspend and live beyond their means. Debt worries are universal, which is why everyone, no matter their background or level of income, should take steps to build their financial fitness.

 “Getting to grips with their spending behaviours and setting limits can help individuals and families to weather the ongoing cost of living and successfully reach their financial goals, no matter what those might be.”

Need debt help?

Being in debt can be scary, but you’re not alone, and we can help.

Our free debt advice is available to people all over the UK, online or over the phone. We’ll go through your finances in detail and explain your options. You might be surprised at the range of help available. We can:

  • check you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to
  • help you with budgeting
  • advise you on debt solutions

 There are various debt solutions available that reduce your monthly debt repayments and even write off some of your debt. We’ll let you know if any of them are suitable for you. All our advice is free. Some debt solutions are free, while others come with a fee. We’ll give you all the information you need to make an informed decision and, if we recommend a debt solution and you decide to go ahead, we’ll help get it set up.



Avatar of Lydia Bell-Jones

Lydia Bell-Jones

With a background in banking, Lydia has been writing professionally for over five years. She is passionate about helping people improve their personal finances and has a particular interest in the connection between money and mental health.

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