Brits are spending an average of 66% of their monthly income on essential bills and expenses, according to research commissioned by Scottish Friendly.
In addition, 42% of people believe they are not able to save any money on their monthly expenditures.
Rent and mortgage repayments were found to be the biggest drain on budgets with an average across the UK of £438 spent per month. However, those in London shell out 32% more than the national average spending £579 per month on accommodation. And yet only 7% of people surveyed believe they can save money on this expenditure.
Meanwhile, in London people spend 27% more on commuting to work, 40% more on home insurance, 86% more on car insurance and 13% more on food than the national monthly averages.
74% of people do regularly seek ways to save money on their essentials. Women are more likely than men to search out a better deal, with 77% saying they do so, compared to 70% of men.
The research also looked at how people would spend any extra savings made through shopping around on their bills. The findings revealed that 35% of people would add any extra money into their savings, with this being a particularly strong sentiment in over 55s, where 40% would put cash aside for a rainy day.
Calum Bennie, spokesperson at Scottish Friendly, said: “Not surprisingly, most of our income is spent on essentials like the mortgage or rent, commuting, food and utility bills. But it is concerning that even though people say they’d like to save money on their bills, so many feel they can’t. By just taking a little bit of time out of the day, simple things like renegotiating with utility or media suppliers can save families’ considerable sums of money on household bills.
“Every penny counts. Both interest rates and inflation are expected to rise in the near future which will have a further impact on disposable incomes and our ability to save. Any extra money made through thrift and savvy shopping around now to help offset rising costs in future could really benefit families in the coming months.
“We want to see people increase the amount they have in disposable income and savings. Many households are probably overpaying for their services. However, it’s a two-way street and companies must look at where they can legitimately pass savings on to customers.”