Quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds ‘struggling to make ends meet financially’

14 May 2020, 00:04

A piggy bank
Household bills. Picture: PA

There has been a sharp rise in young people struggling to pay bills, comparethemarket.com’s household financial confidence tracker found.

A quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds say they have struggled to make ends meet financially in the past week, a survey has found.

Some 25% of people in this age group said this – a sharp increase from 16% of 18 to 24-year-olds who had struggled the week before, according to comparethemarket.com’s weekly household financial confidence tracker.

The latest research was carried out between May 7 and 10.

The proportion of households generally who found it difficult to pay their bills has remained steady at around 17%.

Money worries about the future also appear to be particularly affecting the younger age group.

One in four (25%) of 18 to 24-year-olds said they would struggle to pay their bills in the coming weeks, up from 17% who expressed concern the previous week.

For the third week in a row, a fifth (20%) of people generally are not confident that they will be able to keep on top of payments in the coming weeks.

When asked why they were not confident that they would be able to pay or manage household bills over the coming weeks, nearly six in 10 (59%) young people said it was because their working circumstances have changed for the worse – for example they had been furloughed, lost their job or taken a pay cut.

Among the general survey of more than 2,000 people, the proportion saying their working circumstances have changed for the worse fell from 45% to 39% week-on-week.

The research also suggests families with children at home continue to find it harder to meet their household financial demands than those without.

The proportion of parents with children at home who said it was “difficult” to pay their bills over the past week ticked up to 28%, from 26% previously, compared with 13% of households without children at home (a fall from 15% previously).

Nearly three in 10 (29%) families with children are worried about being able to pay their bills in the coming weeks, compared with 16% of those without children at home.

More than half (55%) of those with children at home think that the economic impact of the pandemic will have a long-term impact on their finances, compared with 42% of those without children at home.

Over a quarter (29%) of families with children think Covid-19 will cause them to make financial sacrifices for up to year, compared to a fifth (20%) of those with no children at home.

Anna McEntee, product director at comparethemarket.com, said: “A financial anxiety gap is emerging between those with dependants at home and those who do not have extra mouths to feed.”

While Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently outlined a road map to opening up the economy, the research suggests a growing number of people do not want to visit public places.

Nearly half (48%) of UK households surveyed do not wish to visit public places, up from 43% the previous week and 39% the week before.

The main reason, given by 41%, was that they would not feel in control of their surroundings and would therefore not enjoy themselves – a rise from 34% who gave this reason the previous week.

By Press Association

Happening Now