According to new research from Trust Deed provider Debt Advisory Centre Scotland, who provided the article you’re reading right now, one in ten Scots were forced to borrow money to pay for food in July 2013.
Basic necessities on credit
Almost 530,000 Scots had to borrow money to buy food in July 2013, according to the research. A further 4 per cent (212,000) were forced to borrow to pay their utilities – gas, electricity and water – bills.
Having to use credit for basic life necessities is a disturbing sign that many people are losing their grasp on their finances and suffering for it.
Age groups differ
According to the figures, younger people are more likely to have had to borrow money to buy food. Around 21 per cent of people in the 18-24 age group said they had to buy on credit, compared with 16 per cent of people aged 25-34.
People aged 35-44 were most likely to have had to borrow to pay their utility bills, with the over-55s coming in next at 7 per cent.
What is clear is that many people across all age ranges – and all over the country – are struggling to afford the basics.
Soaring costs responsible
It’s not surprising that so many are feeling the pinch to such disturbing levels as the cost of gas, electricity and food has soared over the last few years.
Ian Williams of Debt Advisory Centre Scotland said: “Many people use credit cards to buy food every day – sometimes to benefit from loyalty schemes and sometimes just to make ends meet. But unless you pay off your credit card balance in full every month, you are likely to be paying high charges on every pound you borrow. This could easily wipe out any savings you make by shopping carefully.”
Take control of your finances
Constant borrowing to pay bills should not be the norm. It is a clear sign that your finances are in trouble. Getting advice and working out measures to mitigate these problems in the long term is a good idea, and could save you a lot of stress in the future.
Drawing up a budget and working out different ways to come to agreements with providers can help you cut costs in practical ways. If you find you’re struggling to come up with ways to cut costs, getting some expert advice should be your next priority. Help is out there, so make sure you get the assistance you need.