New Survey Shows Just How Hard It Is To Make Ends Meet: ‘Half Of People Need Credit Cards Just To Make It To Their Next Payday’

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From the Archives : Originally published September 20th, 2017
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A new survey was done in the United Kingdom and it shows just how hard it is for young people to survive paycheck to paycheck. Almost half of those surveyed admitted to needing credit to make ends meet until they get paid again.

More than half of young women have to borrow to make their funds last to the end of the month, highlighting the impact of stagnating wages, insecure work, and rising prices like taxation on millennials. A survey of 4,000 people aged 18-30 shows that 51% of young women and 45% of young men regularly use credit to stretch their finances until payday. The report also found that a quarter of these young people in the UK are constantly in debt.

When asked how they borrow to make ends meet, one in five claimed they used overdraft credit or borrowed from family members. The next most common form of borrowing was the use of credit cards. The Young Women’s Trust, which commissioned the representative sample of young people, said many of those questioned in the survey also worked extra hours or skipped meals to make their cash stretch to the end of the month.

The survey was conducted after a growing number of people began asking for help from debt charities with personal debts and monthly bills. The debt charity StepChange said it was concerned about a steep increase in the number of “under-40s” and renters who were struggling to make ends meet. This adds to the trend for low-income families to rely on credit to buy essential items. This debt epidemic is not likely to go away either, with the added burden of regulations and taxation on personal income, it isn’t a surprise that people have begun to struggle financially.

Even if a credit company forgives a debt, in the United States, the IRS will demand that the company give a 1099-C form, which is then reported as income, and taxed as such. Being in poverty becomes the norm when a society drifts toward more government control, and we are beginning to see this credit epidemic rise in first world countries.

The Young Women’s Trust charity’s chief executive, Carole Easton, a former chief executive of ChildLine, said 25% of young people believed their level of debt had gotten worse in the past year and 61% expect to be still in debt when they are aged 40. She warned that this is a scary outlook for many. This could leave young people with “little hope for the future”, especially as the Bank of England has hinted in recent days that it is likely to raise interest rates in the near future. “The worry is many young people will be pushed further into debt,” she said.

“Much more needs to be done to improve young people’s prospects. This means giving them the right skills and support to find jobs, ensuring decent and flexible jobs are available, and paying a proper living wage that doesn’t discriminate against age. This would benefit businesses and the economy too,” said Easton, letting the government off the hook.

But that money has to come from somewhere. Increased wages mean increased prices. It’s an economic cycle that is being strangled by regulations and taxation. Perhaps a reduction in their tax burden? Maybe if the government would climb off the backs of workers, they could begin to get ahead.

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