West Midlands workers struggle harder than their counterparts elsewhere in the UK to make their pay cheques last, a new survey reveals.
Employees in the region top a nationwde league of financial strife, according to the results of a quarterly survey by the national insolvency trade body R3.
A total of 47 per cent of respondents in the region reported difficulties in making their salary last until pay day, with credit card repayments and spending on non-essential items listed as the key reasons for the financial shortfall.
But conversely, the R3 research highlights that the Midlands region has the greatest number of savers in the UK.
The report says: “Only 14 per cent of those surveyed in the region indicated that they had no savings, contrasting with the national statistic of around one in five (22 per cent).
“Individuals in Scotland are revealed as least likely to have a financial nest egg.”
The R3 report also shows that, nationally, the number of people who are worried about their current level of debt has increased by six per cent in the last quarter.
Close to half are now concerned about the amount of debt they owe, with the 25-34 age group most likely to feel financially vulnerable.
R3 Midlands chairman Matthew Hammond, a partner at PwC in the Midlands, said: “Since our previous survey last autumn, people have seen a rise in the cost of living, particularly with regard to VAT, fuel and utilities.
“This has happened against a backdrop of pay freezes, pay cuts and, in some cases, redundancies, so it is understandable that many are feeling an acute financial pinch.”
Despite the tough economic conditions, R3 believes there are signs that consumers are becoming better at managing their debt.
Matthew Hammond added: “In 2010, bankruptcies, seen by many to be the last resort for individuals in debt, were at their lowest level in half a decade with 59,194 people in England and Wales using the process last year.”