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Nearly one in five (18%) people say they have no disposable income left to spend after their essential outgoings have been paid for, a survey has found.

This is up from 13% who had no leftover discretionary income before the coronavirus pandemic, according to HSBC UK.

Women (21%) are more likely to say they have no money left over once essentials have been paid for than men (15%).

The findings also indicate that women are particularly likely to have continued spending cuts initially made earlier on in the coronavirus pandemic in order to manage the cost-of-living crisis that has now emerged.

Among women who have changed their spending habits, nearly half (49%) are still spending less money on eating out compared with pre-pandemic, as are 40% of men.

It’s important for people to have full clarity on the current state of their finances

Chantelle Perkins, HSBC UK

Some 37% of women are still buying lower-cost alternatives for goods such as groceries, as are 26% of men.

More than one in 10 (12%) women have dipped into savings to cover everyday costs, as have 9% of men.

Chantelle Perkins, senior financial wellbeing consultant at HSBC UK, said: “In the face of rising costs, it’s important for people to have full clarity on the current state of their finances and to know what resources are available to help them understand exactly how they are spending their money.

“Budget calculators and features such as our financial fitness score tool can provide valuable support in helping people manage their day-to-day finances and plan for the future.”

People with problem debts could consider contacting charities such as StepChange, the Money Advice Trust, Christians Against Poverty and Citizens Advice for help and support.

The UK Government-backed Money Helper service also provides general tips about finances and budgeting.

– More than 2,100 people were surveyed across Britain in April.

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