The average twenty-something is earning £22,622 a year and is left with more than £300 of disposable income each month

A survey of 2,000 people under the age of 30 revealed youngsters are paying an average of £587 per month on rent or mortgage.

It also uncovered an increase in money confidence among young people, with more than two thirds (68 per cent) of adults feeling the pandemic has made them more responsible with their disposable income.

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Differences between cities

When comparing the differences between cities it was found that respondents in Liverpool earn the most, with an annual salary of £27,716, which could be attributed on part to the fact that the region had the fastest economic growth in England pre-Covid.

This was ahead of those living in London (£25,524), Edinburgh (£25,365) and Manchester (£23,402), according to the research by first direct.

It was also found that those living in Liverpool also have the most disposable income – £423 – ahead of Newcastle (£403), Edinburgh (£374), and Bristol (£340).

However, those living in Cambridge are least likely to splash the cash on unnecessary items, with residents spending just under £270 a year on things they don’t need, compared to a UK average of £520.

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And when it came to paying for their rent or mortgage, respondents in London are typically paying the most at an average of £732 per month, while those in Glasgow were paying the least (£420).

As well as feeling more responsible with their disposable income because of the pandemic, the research also reveals if respondents had a pay rise, over half (52 per cent) would still live the same way and put the money into their savings, while one in five (20 per cent) would pay off debts, and 17 per cent would start treating themselves more.

It was found that under 30s living in Edinburgh and Plymouth (61 per cent) would be most likely to put their extra money into savings, while those in Bristol would most likely treat themselves (19 per cent).

Chris Pitt, CEO of first direct, said: “Our research revealed the past 18 months have made a big impact on the way young people spend and save.

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“In terms of average salaries and the cost of living, there are some clear differences among young people in different parts of the UK, but overall we found some sense of money confidence among this age group with many choosing to act carefully with their money.

“This is highlighted in particular by the suggestion that if given a pay rise, more would look to increase their savings or pay off existing debts before looking to spend their earnings on new clothes or gadgets.”


Across the UK, young people under 30 have an average of £3,599 in cash savings, with Londoners having saved the most (£4,118) and those living in Manchester having the least in their cash savings (£2,643).

Young people are also looking into the distant future in terms of money, with the average under 30 paying £144.80 into their pension each month. Those in Edinburgh are paying the most each month (£184), which is almost twice as much as those in Plymouth (£95).

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It also emerged six in 10 respondents (59 per cent) have taken out an investment, with 23 per cent opting for stocks and shares.

Chris Pitt added: “Whether it’s growing their pension pot, adding to their savings or trying to increase their wealth through investments, the pandemic has seen young people across the UK focus on building themselves a more financially-robust future, which is really pleasing to see”