The recent Aviva commissioned study into the state of our monthly finances, published in November 2013, evidenced that many of us may have month-on-month overspend and debt problems. The findings also reveal that 20% of us don’t, or wouldn’t, change our lifestyle to reflect our financial situation, with the internet named as the thing that we would be least willing to give up (35%), even if it meant us living beyond our means.

The Aviva researchers also found that eight in ten Brits admit they think a lot of people have their priorities wrong when it comes to spending and saving money and three in ten have ended up rowing with their partner because one of them was overspending.

According to the research, the Top Ten things that we in the UK wouldn’t give up, even if it meant living beyond our means, are:

1. Access to Internet and broadband (35% of us)2. Our mobile phones (25%)3. An annual holiday (23%)4. Running a car or motorbike (19%)5. Having a takeaway or meal out6. A night out with friends7. Our Sky TV subscription8. Paying into a pension9. Haircut or hair colouring10. Paying for life insurance and/or critical illness cover.

Can we conclude from these research findings that if we are in regular financial trouble, provided we are individually prepared to give something up, there is some ‘wiggle-room’ with some choices on the list where we could each make savings? Is the problem deciding what are our necessities and what are the luxuries, if any, we can each do without?

An Aviva spokesperson, commenting on the research findings, said:

“Making some small changes to our spending can have a big impact on the pot of money we end up with in retirement. Simply taking lunch to work each day or not buying a morning coffee can equate to £20 per week, £80 per month, £960 per year or the equivalent of more than £40,000 over an average working life.Furthermore, because of the tax relief you receive on pension contributions, for every £80pcm you pay into your pension the Government pays an additional £20pcm for most people.When you think about it in these simple terms, we can all make some adjustments that could make a material difference in the future. A few indulgences now and again can be an important part of enjoying life, but creating and sticking to some simple savings goals will undoubtedly pay dividends in the longer term.”