Three-quarters of low income families can't afford five-a-day

Three-quarters of Brits earning less than

Charity says over 1,000 Brits ask for financial help every day

A charity claims that more than 1,000 Brits come for help every day because they're struggling to pay their bills.

According to, a report form Stepchange reveals that over 15 million Brits are 'living on the edge', despite the fact the economy is improving. Many of these people rely heavily on credit to get by and would not be able to cope if they lost their job or interest rates rose.

Last month, around 13 million people didn't have enough savings to cope if their income happened to drop by a quarter, Stepchange estimates. Moreover, nearly three million Brits are in such bad debt that they have to continue taking out credit just to keep up with existing debts, reports

Stepchange's chief executive, Mike O'Connor, says millions of people are not prepared for the future.

“Even with economic growth, consumers are likely to face interest rate rises and increases in costs of essential goods and services,” he explains. “Unless we can improve families' financial resilience, it is likely that people will be pushed over the edge – often as a result of resorting to high cost credit.”

The charity says that people already in debt should be given time to pay off their debts instead of lenders making their situation worse. This may mean halting extra charges or freezing interest rates.

Bath residents have largest personal debt

People living in Bath have the highest amount of personal debt on average, compared with the rest of the UK.

According to, figures from the British Bankers' Association (BBA) and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show people with a postcode of 'BA1 9' owe

Brits increasingly turning to their grandparents for help

Many young adults are struggling to pay off their debts and turning to their grandparents for help instead, a new study reveals.

According to, the research from MetLife shows that one in three Brits over the age of 65 have paid off debts of

Is it cheaper to rent or buy?

Deciding whether to rent or buy is never an easy decision, especially in such a dynamic housing market. Buying a home is a huge commitment, but it's also a great investment. On the other hand, renting is a lot less restrictive than owning. The key question is: which is the cheapest option?

Benefits of renting

The best thing about renting is that it can be both a long-term and short-term option. You might choose to rent for a while to get used to paying your rent and bills on time, then decide you want your own place and are ready to buy instead. Alternatively, you can have the flexibility of easily moving from place to place and can choose to rent all your life.

When you rent somewhere, you have little responsibility for the property. Of course you must look after it well, or you could lose your deposit money at the end of the tenancy; but if something goes wrong, it's your landlord's responsibility to fix it. For example, if your boiler goes bust unexpectedly, you don't need to worry about the huge incoming bill, as your landlord will cover the cost. They own the property, not you, so they must come out and fix anything that breaks.

Benefits of home ownership

With the housing market going the way it is, it's highly likely that the value of the property you buy will continue to rise, allowing you to make a profit when you sell. You can then go on to buy a larger house later down the line, or if you're nearing retirement, you might consider downsizing to fund a more comfortable lifestyle.

It's not always a good idea to rent all your life. When you retire, you might not have enough income to be able to afford the rent of a place you want to live, but if you've already paid off your mortgage, you own the home and therefore can live there rent-free.

Moreover, you're allowed to change your home in almost any way you want to. This means you can invest further by renovating it to increase its value. Then when you finally come to sell, you'll make even more money.

Other things to consider

Currently, buying a home is cheaper than renting. A recent survey from Halifax reveals homeowners pay

Nine in ten Brits in some form of debt

Around nine in ten UK adults are currently in some sort of debt, a new survey from think-tank Demos reveals.

According to, unexpected costs and expensive one-off purchases are the top reason why so many Brits find themselves borrowing money. However, nearly a quarter of adults have been forced into debt because they can't afford to pay their utility bills or buy food or clothing.

The total amount of household debt in the UK is

Over 10,000 Brits at risk of losing their homes last year

More than 10,000 people who sought help from the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) last year were at risk of losing their homes, a new report reveals.

According to, the report from CAB shows the number of people afraid of losing their property last year increased by a quarter. Moreover, almost 87,000 individuals reported problems of social housing rent arrears; a rise of about a tenth compared with the previous year.

CAB believes that there are several reasons why Brits are struggling so much to keep up with their rent. Wage rises are still below inflation and there is a huge lack of affordable properties on the housing market. Welfare reforms haven't helped much either, such as benefit cuts for people with spare rooms – also known as the bedroom tax. In fact, a fifth of Brits who got hit by the bedroom tax at the end of last year were struggling to keep up with their rent.

Gillian Guy from CAB says in order to maintain demand the UK needs to build more affordable properties.

“The steep rise in arrears, possession orders and help with housing debt suggests thousands cannot make end meet and need help to keep a roof over their head,” she explains, reports

Over a fifth of Brits afraid they will never afford to move

Some 21 per cent of Brits believe they won't ever be able to afford to move or buy their own house, a new survey reveals.

According to, the survey from Gocompare shows over half of the UK wants to move house, but many think the costs are far too high for them. On average, Brits wanting to change their location have been waiting 3.6 years to do so.

Unsurprisingly, young people between the ages of 18 – 34 are most worried they'll never have enough money to move or buy their own place. Moreover, Londoners are the most keen to make a change, as 62 per cent wish to move. Some 44 per cent of Brits in the capital believe they'll be able to change their residence in the next year, reports

Around 16 per cent of Brits say the actual cost of moving and buying a home is what is holding them back the most and another 16 per cent say prices are too high in the area they want to live in. Ten per cent are too concerned about whether they can hold down their current job or earn enough money and 14 per cent struggle to save sufficient cash for the deposit. Even if they can afford the initial costs, 15 per cent believe they won't be able to afford to maintain and run their own home.

Ben Wilson from Gocompare says it's a great time to buy a home, but many still can't afford to.

“Our survey suggests the high costs associated with buying and moving home, together with the requirement to put down a bigger deposit, are preventing many people from realising their property dreams,” he explains.

Over a quarter of Brits stressed by their financial situation

Some 28 per cent of Brits are currently worried about their personal financial situation, a new survey reveals.

According to, the survey by ComRes for BBC Breakfast shows that the majority of Brits still aren't feeling the impact of the economic recovery. In fact, three-quarters believe their financial situation will not improve over the next year and seven in ten already feel negative about how much money they have.

Some 19 per cent of Brits aren't earning enough to cover their monthly spending, meaning they are at real risk of driving themselves into debt. Respondents say they are most concerned about the rising cost of food shopping and utility bills this year.

Only 40 per cent of those surveyed think they'll get a pay rise this year, reports One in four expect their wage rises to go above the rate of inflation.

Figures from the treasury indicate that two-thirds of Brits have seen their wage increases beat inflation every year since 2006, with the exception of 2011.

However it isn't all bad news, as almost a third think their finances will improve overall in 2014. Two-thirds of people also report that they don't spend all their wages every month and are able to put something away into their savings account.

Having enough money is top concern amongst over 55s

Having enough money to get by is the biggest worry for over-55s, ahead of concerns regarding losing a partner and staying healthy, a new survey shows.

According to, the study conducted by MGM Advantage reveals one in five older Brits are even selling off some of their possessions online, such as clothes and electronics, to make ends meet. Worryingly, this is because over half of over 55s cannot pay their bills. Some 45 per cent of Brits approaching retirement are concerned about their health and 32 per cent are stressed they might lose their partner.

Selling off prized items isn't generating enough income to keep some over-55s afloat though, as one third are planning to sell their current home and downsize to a smaller one to save money, reports

Despite the fact inflation has declined over the past few months, income increases and interest on savings accounts remain low. For 30 per cent of older Brits, this means they've had to cut down on the amount they're putting away for retirement.

Andrew Tully, pensions technical director at MGM Advantage, says many generations are having to cope with the rising cost of living.

“We're used to people in the UK moving to the coast when they retire, but what we're seeing now is less and aspiration and more about necessity,” he explains.