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Lancashire
Monday, June 24, 2024

A fifth of North West adults currently living without savings.

According to new research from the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), over a million people across the North West have no savings, and another 500,000 have less than £100.

A study of 281 people aged 18+, living in the North West, showed that:

  • Overall, almost a third of adults have less than £100 put away.
  • Over a third of people who use credit are anxious about how much they owe.
  • Over a quarter are anxious about the number of credit products they have.
  • Free help is available, but six in seven people still struggle to talk about money.

Through their research conducted for this year’s Talk Money Week (November 7-11), MaPS found that one in five adults (20%) have nothing put away, and another one in ten (9%) have £100 or less, meaning that almost a third of adults in the North West are currently facing uncertain financial times without a safety net, due to the rising cost of living and unexpected bills.

As a result, some may be forced to use credit; however, this is already cause for concern for many adults in the region. Among 78% of North West residents currently using credit, two in five (40%) are anxious about how much they owe, and three in ten (28%) are worried about the number of different products they have.

MaPS warns that, although credit is an important tool when used and managed well, it’s crucial that people understand what they can afford and that they have a plan to pay it off.

During the current cost of living crisis, MaPS says it has never been more important to talk about money, before problems begin to arise. However, 83% of people avoid discussing their finances, according to the survey.

Amongst the most common responses, when asked why, were ‘not wanting to be judged’ (18%), ‘fear of burdening others’ (17%), and ‘shame and embarrassment (14%).

Nevertheless, during this year’s Talk Money Week, which focuses on the theme of ‘credit’, MaPS encourages everyone to open up about money, plan for their financial future and take free debt advice as soon as they need it. With events and activities across the UK, the campaign will seek to build understanding of credit products and help consumers understand the options available to them.

Moreover, the organisation says its MoneyHelper service offer free guidance on topics like everyday money, savings and where to find free debt advice – providing a first port of call for those apprehensive about talking money.

It also provides a range of information on dealing with money issues, including step-by-step guides on how to talk to your creditors or discuss money with family and friends.

Caroline Siarkiewicz, Chief Executive of the Money and Pensions Service, said: 

 

“Over a million people across the Northwest find it a challenge to save and this leaves them vulnerable when sudden expenditure items arise. When you add in the anxiety that they feel with their credit commitments, the weight of that worry can quickly become overwhelming.  

 

“This Talk Money Week, we want everyone to start the conversation with family or friends and share the burden of any money worries. By dealing with the problem head on, people can discover just how helpful free debt advice can be and see the importance of talking to their creditors early. They can also begin to find a way forward, no matter how difficult their situation might feel. 

 

“Free help and guidance on how to do all of this is available via our MoneyHelper service and I’d urge everyone who needs it to get in touch today.” 

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