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FOUR in 10 people have less than £6.60 a day for themselves once essential bills have been paid, according to a report by the Nationwide Building Society.
Across Britain, the average person has £13.22 a day for discretionary spending, the survey found.
However, there is considerable regional variation in the average monthly amount of money left over after essential living costs have been covered.
Londoners in particular are far better off, with £585 on average, than people in Scotland (£372), north-west England (£362), Yorkshire and the Humber (£353) and Wales (£268).
The survey also found that two-thirds of people had reduced their outgoings to cover essential bills.
Nearly a third (30 per cent) had missed payments in the past year, with utility bills, rent and insurance the most likely payments skipped.
Alongside the survey of 2,000 people across the country, the Nationwide report also analysed more than 700 million customer transactions.
Around a quarter (26 per cent) of customers were found to be regularly outspending their earnings, overshooting their bank balances by £101.84 a month on average, adding up to £1,222.08 a year.
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