Millions Only Have £10 to spend each month

One in 11 people, or 4.5 million British adults, have less than £10 a month disposable income (that’s money left over once they have paid their essential bills), research from budgeting account provider thinkmoney has found.

With many households struggling to make ends meet, our research reveals the worryingly small amounts of disposable income people have left once they’ve met all their financial commitments. When questioned, a quarter of people (25%) said they had less than £50 a month to spend after bills.

Across the UK, the average monthly disposable income was £224.50. However, there was a wide gender difference – men reported having disposable incomes averaging £272.50, some 43% higher than women (£190.20).

Unsurprisingly, young people reported having the least disposable income – with 18-24 year-olds averaging £174.20 (22% below the overall UK average). In fact, fully 31% of this age group have less than £50 a month to spend after bills. Interestingly, the wealthiest in terms of post-bills spending money are people over 65, with an average of £269.50 a month available to spend.

One in eight people (13%) said they had at least £501 left to spend once their monthly bills had been settled. This figure rose to one in five (20% of) people over 65, compared with just 7% of 18-24 year olds – around one in 14.

The amount of disposable income also varies depending on where people live. It is highest in London, at an average of £261, and the South East, at £244. People in the North East and Wales have the lowest disposable incomes, at £199 and £181 respectively. Worryingly, a full 16% of people questioned in Wales said they had less than £10 a month to spend after bills.

Ian Williams, director of communications at thinkmoney, said: “It’s stressful not knowing if you will have enough money to pay the bills and afford added extras each month. The thinkmoney Personal Account takes the worry away and gives people peace of mind. With their money split into two ‘jam jars’ (one for bills and one for spending money), customers can be confident that all the bills they’ve told us about will be paid – and they know exactly how much they have to spend.”