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Are you battering your credit card at the end of the month…?

Do you regularly dip into your overdraft or fall back on your credit cards towards the end of the month? Well, you’re not alone, according to a new report which has found that millions of Brits feel they are living beyond their means, and that their salaries aren’t stretching enough.

The research by Vantage Leasing surveyed some 2,000 people and revealed that 43 per cent have a credit card to deal with excess spending, 10 per cent have an overdraft and 20 per cent have both as provisions for when times get tough.

Credit card holders who took part in the research admitted racking up around £269.17 per month on their card in an attempt to get by. And of those with an overdraft, 17 per cent often find themselves dipping into the red as pay-day approaches.

Vantage Leasing’s James Buttrick offered: “It’s a sad fact that most of us are familiar with the feeling of purse strings tightening as pay day fades into a distant memory. When funds are running dry, most Brits have a fall-back set up which they can plunder as needed, but this shouldn’t be seen as a long-term solution to cash flow problems.

“Many of us could take a look at our lives and endeavour to make smarter money choices going forward to keep our spending habits in check, curbing spontaneous, big-ticket purchases for more sensible payment plans.”

Additional findings revealed that of those going into their overdraft or spending on their credit card, 36 per cent blame overzealous spending at the beginning of the month, straight after pay day, for their shorfall in later weeks. And a disorganised 53 per cent have been caught unawares by a bill or payment which has left their remaining funds decimated.

Buying clothes is the biggest regret for those trying to make their cash go further – one in four splurges on new outfits when their wages land in their account. Fast food, meals out and nights on the town with friends are other hot spots for over-spending. And the research reveals that the average Brit spends £101 a month on non-essential products and services they could potentially put into their savings.

Buttrick added: “When pay day arrives and our pockets are deepest, this is when we are at the biggest risk of irresponsible spending. Whether it’s some new threads you’ve had an eye on all month, a big night out to celebrate or a bigger ticket item like a car or home furnishing, it is worth taking a moment to take stock as impulse purchases could mean your riches are short-lived.

“At Vantage Leasing we want to better understand the affordability of car rentals from the perspective of our customer, so we can take a responsible stance when advising on whether an offer is in their best interests.”