It has been reported that the average American household has around $16,000 of debt, which is most commonly credit card debt. Much of this however is said to be due to rising living costs (but not rising wages), medical bills, and paying a mortgage. While most of us don’t worry about medical bills here in the UK, credit card debt and large mortgages are still very real, and our average household debt shows no sign of slowing down either.
With England and Wales almost in the same position as Americans when it comes to further education and University costs, paying for education becomes very real. Whether it be the individual taking out loans and debt to pay tuition fees and living costs, or parents having to do so to put their children through higher education, the end result is a pile of debt.
Social housing is not what is used to be, and now the most economical long term option for housing is to purchase your own property. Even people on low incomes often choose a mortgage over paying sky-high rental prices until the day they die. But to get the chance to own your own property, comes with having to save up a deposit, pay legal fees, and then the mortgage repayments themselves. Here in the UK, there is little help toward paying mortgage payments if you fall ill or lose your job.
While the NHS provides healthcare for people in the United Kingdom, it’s future doesn’t always look bright. People often choose to go the private healthcare route, just to have serious disease dealt with in a good enough time. In addition to this, family often are faced with care home bills for elderly relatives who need residential care.
Standard of Living
Todays’ standard of living is way beyond what it ever was. Nowadays, foreign holidays are standard, new clothes and shoes bought on a whim, and supermarket trollies loaded on a weekly basis without a thought. Most people who have never had to live below such a standard have no idea how to tighten their belts when they take a pay cut or a fall on hard times. This is where much credit card debt can come from, when people’s income reduced, but their spending habits do not.