According to research from the Money Advice Service, over half of Brits are struggling to keep up with their debts and bills.

  • Those who are struggling to keep with their bills and debt repayments now measure 26 million – 9 million more than seven years ago.
  • The research found that 18 million people run out of money before their next payday on a regular basis.
  • When given the choice, one in five would rather have £200 now as opposed to £400 in four months’ time.
  • Only 58% would be able to fork out £300 if presented with an unexpected bill.


Treading water


Thanks in part to the recession and rising living costs, consumers the world over are struggling to keep on top of their finances. And the UK is no different. Indeed, according to Mintel’s Consumers and Financial Advice UK May 2013 report, 24% of consumers said their finances are tight and that they’re making ends meet, but only just.

The research from the Money Advice Service compounds this sentiment and highlights the extent of the issue at hand. In terms of finances, Brits are on a knife edge. They’re attempting to balance their bills and debts with the money they’ve got coming in and have very little room to manoeuvre should an emergency arise.

These consumers are unlikely to have spare cash to invest in big-ticket purchases or experiences. As a result, brands and businesses are sure to see a growing demand for renting initiatives and sharing schemes that give users a taste of what they could otherwise not afford. Those that branch into this sector in a sensitive way are sure to attract the spending of these hard-up citizens.

This is an observation from our Inspire trend The Nouveau Poor which looks at how millions of Western consumers are experiencing ‘downward mobility’—and saying goodbye to the conventions of a middle-class lifestyle. For more information about Inspire click here.