One in eight adults in the UK spends more than 50% of their wages on their mortgage or rent, according to the Debt Advisory Centre.

Housing costs are one of the highest outlays made by families and this expenditure does not take into account any household bills such as gas or electricity.

On average, housing costs account for 29% of the pay taken home by UK workers after tax, showcasing the importance of good financial management to make ends meet.

Young people with lower earnings were found to spend large proportions of their wages on housing costs with one in five spending more than half of their earnings.

Meanwhile, one in six people aged between 25 and 34 were also spending more than 50% of their take-home pay on costs associated with keeping a roof over their head as just one third of the population spent less than 20% of their monthly take-home pay on a mortgage or rent.

Regional variation

Despite high housing costs in London, the proportion of people in the capital paying more than 50% of their income on housing is just 14%.

That is not much higher than the average for the entirety of the UK, although 17% of those in the South East spend more than half of their wages on homes.

One in ten people in Scotland spend more than 50% of their wages on their home, with 73% of the population paying rent or mortgage costs.

A shocking 54% of people in Scotland spend anywhere between 20% and 49% of their take-home pay on having a place to live.

Managing finances to meet costs

Representing the single largest monthly commitment, higher housing costs can make covering other essentials more difficult.

Homebuyers without fixed mortgages who spend a high proportion of their wages on housing could suffer in the instance of an interest rate rise.

While the Bank of England has not yet increased the rate from a record low of 0.5%, an increase in 2015 does appear likely and this means that homeowners need to consider the real possibility of being required to pay more for their homes.

Reducing the amount spent on housing can free up funds for other essentials, including energy and food, while looking for discounts and switching suppliers can be beneficial all-round by ensuring finances are streamlined as much as possible.

Reducing expenditure is the first step in boosting savings and could help individuals provide a more secure financial basis from which to sustain themselves and their lifestyle.