Two in Five Workers Say They Usually or Always Live Paycheque to Paycheque to Make Ends Meet, Finds CareerBuilder.co.uk Survey
LONDON, 19 September 2013 – Do you plan your life around payday? You’re not alone. As the economy continues its slow climb out of the recession, workers across the UK continue to struggle with their financial responsibilities. Forty-two per cent of workers report living paycheque to paycheque usually or always just to make ends meet (down slightly from 51 per cent in 2012), this according to CareerBuilder.co.uk’s survey of 400 workers across the UK conducted by Consumer Analysis Limited during August 2013. An additional, 30 per cent say they sometimes live paycheque to paycheque, up sharply from 25 per cent in 2012.
While 74 per cent (down from 80 per cent last year) of workers claim to be more financially responsible since the recession began, making ends meet has come as a result of changes they have had to make in their every days lives. When asked what tactics they used to make ends meet, workers said:
- Cut back on leisure activities – 51 per cent
- Use coupons/vouchers/shopped at discount stores – 48 per cent
- Stopped eating out – 42 per cent
- Drove less to save on petrol – 25 per cent
- Used public transport – 13 per cent
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, mobile, pet, and car.
“While workers are often amongst the first to feel the pinch during any economic ripple, they are also resilient and able to find ways to maintain a good quality of life,” said Scott Helmes, Managing Director of CareerBuilder UK. “Just like a company making changes to stay in business long-term, workers need to look to make adjustments to make their paycheques, go a lot further and improve their financial health.”
The recession may not only be causing short-term problems for workers, but long-term, as well, as some workers are not focusing on their financial future. Thirty-one per cent of workers say they are not saving any money each month, while 29 per cent save less than £50 and 40 per cent less than £100.
Helmes offers the following tips for riding out the economic downturn and preparing for the future:
- Look at your expenses under a microscope – Takeout coffee, restaurant lunches and other common everyday expenses can make a dent in your checking account. Create a spreadsheet to analyze what you spend each month, and once you can see where your money goes, you can more easily see where you can cut back.
- Put an amount away, even if it is small – 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 deposit into a savings account.
- Savings may be right under your nose - Talk to your HR department about how you can make the most of the benefits at your organization. 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.
There were 400 people aged 18-70 from the UK involved in our survey. In lengthy online interviews they were asked questions about their current job situation and their experiences in the workplace.