Millions 'living beyond their means' but won't give up satellite TV or takeaways.

New research shows millions of Britons overspend by £150 a month but refuse to consider giving up their mobile phone contracts, takeaways or satellite TV subscriptions to keep their finances in check.

A survey by Aviva revealed that half of adults believe they are living beyond their means, with some doing so simply to keep up appearances, despite the danger of plunging into serious debt by relying on credit cards and overdrafts.

One in five of the 2,000 people surveyed say they wouldn't, change their lifestyle to reflect their financial situation, with broadband named as the thing Britons would be least willing to give up, followed by mobile phones, holidays and nights out with friends.

Tim Orton, of Aviva, said:

“It's been a tough few years for people financially. Money has been tight, but worryingly rather than cutting back, it seems there are some who are continuing to live way beyond their means.”

“When you think about it in these simple terms we can all make some adjustments that could make a material difference in the future. A few indulgences now and again can be an important part of enjoying life, but creating and sticking to some simple savings goals will undoubtedly pay dividends in the longer term.

“Simply taking lunch to work each day or not buying a morning coffee can equate to £20 per week, £80 per month, £960 per year or the equivalent of more than £40,000 over an average working life.”

But it appears that while some cutbacks on the basics may be made, others insist on maintaining their spending on items that some may perceive as luxuries.

21% of those surveyed said they 'can't resist' buying things, while 25% overspend to ensure their children don't go without.

10% of those who exceed their monthly budgets say they do so to appear more affluent than they actually are.

The survey uncovered that just over 40% didn’t have extra money to put aside at the end of each month for savings and pensions with 42% treating forms of credit such as overdrafts and credit cards as extensions of their bank accounts. 

The research comes after a report by the Money Advice Service found that almost nine million Britons admit to being in serious debt, with many having to forgo basic necessities on a monthly basis.

Top Ten items we can't live without;

1.         Internet/broadband
2.         Mobile phone
3.         Annual holiday
4.         Run a car/motorbike
5.         A takeaway/meal out
6.         A night out with friends
7.         Sky TV subscription
8.         Pay into my pension
9.         Haircut/colour
10.       Pay for life insurance/ critical illness


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