First time buyers and renters in UK underestimate their outgoings, research finds

Taylor Scott International News

The majority of first time buyers and renters in the UK underestimate their monthly outgoing by almost £200 a month, suggesting they could have problems if their income reduced. Only 14% of first time buyers and renters are able to accurately calculate how much their outgoings will be from the outset, according to ongoing research from discount online firm VoucherCodesPro. It polled 1,673 people aged 18 to 30 from around the UK, each of whom had either bought their first home or rented a property for the first time in the last six months. Respondents were asked about their bills in the early stages of living in their property. Everyone taking part was asked ‘When taking into account the first month after you’d moved in to your current property, did you underestimate, overestimate or accurately calculate what your monthly outgoings would be for bills?’ The majority of respondents, 63%, said they underestimate how much their first round of monthly bills would be. When these people were asked how much they’d underestimated the amount by, the average answer was £198. When asked what bills they’d underestimated, specifically, the most popular answer was 42% gas and electricity, 27% water and 21% entertainment and television. Some 23% of the total respondents said they had overestimated how much their monthly outgoings would be in the initial stages of living in their home, with the average overestimation figure being stated as £167. Just 14% of the respondents said they accurately calculated how much their bills would cost them from the outset. When told to take into account their financial situation at the time of the poll, respondents were asked if they ‘lived comfortably’, ‘just managed to make ends meet’ or ‘struggled’. The majority, 54%, said they ‘just managed to make ends meet’, whilst 31% said they ‘struggled’ with the cost of living and 15% said they ‘lived comfortably’. ‘Moving out of home into your own place for the first time can be a bit of a learning curve, especially when it comes to bills,’ said Nick Swan, the firm’s chief executive officer. ‘Managing your money correctly and making sure you’ve accurately worked out how much everything is going to cost you is really important. When setting budgets and working out the cost of bills, it’s always best to overestimate and then you can put an excess into savings,’ he added. Continue reading →

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