~This is a guest article
New research, carried out by the cashback website Quidco, has found that nearly half of British consumers are using credit cards to make ends meet between paydays. Financial experts believe that this is a worrying sign that too many people are living beyond their means, falling back on credit cards to maintain their current lifestyles when their wages don’t stretch far enough.
Quidco’s study into household finances found that of the two-thirds of people who admitted finding it difficult to make their wages stretch to cover their monthly bills and living expenses, a massive 49 per cent said that they increasingly relied on credit cards to make up the deficit. On average, people are spending around £180 on their credit cards between paydays. As for why so many people are struggling with day-to-day living expenses, the rising costs of utility bills, as well as food and petrol, are likely to be responsible. In the study, 40 per cent of people agreed that the rising cost of living was causing them to overspend between paydays. However, 25 per cent said that their own tendency to overspend unnecessarily was to blame for their financial problems.
More women than men struggling to make ends meet
The research also looked at the differences between men and women when it comes to overspending between paydays. Researchers found that 71 per cent of women, compared to just 60 per cent of men, were struggling to make ends meet each month. What’s more, 44 per cent of women admitted regularly using their credit cards to make up the shortfall each month. Almost half of men were able to spend only the money they earned during the month.
Should you be relying on credit cards between paydays?
Whilst a credit card could be useful during months when you find yourself a little short, it isn’t a good idea to rely on them every month. If your wages aren’t stretching far enough, you need to reduce your spending or boost your income, or do both. If you continue to rely on credit cards to bridge the money gap between paydays, you could eventually end up with a credit card bill you can’t afford to pay off. So, either reassess your household finances and budget accordingly, or compare credit cards and get yourself a very good rate (and make sure you can pay your bill off in full every month to avoid paying interest rates).