New research from independent comparison website money.co.uk reveals almost two thirds (60%) of UK households consider themselves to be just about managing financially, or as they’re more affectionately known by the Government ‘JAMs’.
This is the social economic group the Government pledged to help in the recent Autumn Statement. Whilst there is no clear definition, these families tend to have at least one person working in the household and ‘just about manage’ financially each month on an income of between £12,000 to £34,000.
Recent research estimates there are around six million ‘JAM’ households in the UK. Money.co.uk’s research, which was carried out across 1,000 UK working households with children, tells a slightly different story.
It shows that being a JAM is not ‘just’ about income. It reveals that whilst it’s more of a problem for 71% of those on household incomes of £30,000 or less, half of those surveyed with an annual household income of over £70,000 consider themselves JAMs and are struggling to get by each month. This indicates that they could be, wait for it, homemade JAMs.
It might not be the best financial start to the New Year as one in six working households will be forced to use their overdraft as early as the 10th January 2017. 18% admit it’s not authorised which could cost them up to £690 a year in interest on average, plus penalty charges for missed or bounced payments.
For one in five (21%) – an overdraft is something they rely on every month. When money.co.uk asked households with an income of £70,000 or more, 43% said they use an overdraft every month and 9% admit it’s not authorised.
Running out of money part way through the month is a regular reality for almost half (44%) of UK working households. For one in five households this happens every month. Again, this is a problem faced by almost a third (31%) of households with an income of more than £70,000.
More than a quarter (26%) of the households that regularly run out of money during the month rely on credit cards to get by – 70% typically borrow £127 each month. One in five opts for a lower interest option and visit the bank of family and friends to borrow money to get them through the month (21%).
A further 9% either turn to payday loans or dip into their children’s savings accounts or piggy banks – borrowing an average of £82 a month to make ends meet.
Hannah Maundrell, Editor in Chief money.co.uk said: “For many people just about managing is the harsh reality of only just having enough cash coming in to cover essential bills. For others, it could simply be a case of poor money management.
“It’s fair to say no one ever feels they have ‘enough’ money but living life in the red is both distressing and soul destroying as you never really feel you’re getting anywhere. You instinctively feel better about the parts of your life you are in control of. Being in control of your finances is key for peace of mind.
“It’s surprising so many people on decent incomes are finding themselves just getting by. It just shows that how well you manage financially is really down to how tight a grip you have on your purse strings.
“Whatever your income the best way to be better off is to check where your money is going, create a budget, and make simple switches that could quite literally save you thousands of pounds a year.
“If you only make one resolution for 2017, promise yourself you’ll give yourself a financial check up and take control of your cash. If you think of it as giving yourself a pay rise, spending an hour or two giving your finances some TLC seems a whole lot more appealing.”
This is an official press release from www.money.co.uk.