Disposable income gap between men and women grows over last year

The gap between men's and women's spending power has widened over the last year, research suggests.

On average, men have £487 a month in disposable income after essentials are paid for, while women have £118 less typically, at £369, a survey in August found.

In 2015, a similar survey found an £80 a month gap between men's and women's spending power, with men having £412 in disposable income on average each month and women having £332.

The research, carried out by YouGov for VoucherCodes.co.uk, found women tend to see bigger chunks of their monthly income eaten up by utility bills and childcare, taking up an estimated 23% of their monthly budget compared with 20% for men.

It also found the vote to leave the EU has had an impact on how financially secure people feel, with one in three (33%) people saying they feel less financially secure than before the vote and one in 20 (5%) saying they feel more secure.

Figures released by the Bank of England this week indicated that some consumers may have become more cautious about borrowing in the wake of the Brexit vote.

The Bank's figures showed consumer credit increased by £1.2 billion in July, compared with an average of £1.6 billion over the previous six months.

Looking across Britain, VoucherCodes.co.uk found people in East Anglia tend to have the most disposable cash, with £615 typically left over each month.

People in Wales were found to have the least disposable income generally, with £243 to spare each month on average.

Across the survey, those aged between 45 and 54 years old tend to have the least disposable cash left over each month, with around £381 a month in disposable income.

This age group is often described as the "squeezed middle" as people in it may have two generations relying on them - their children and their parents.

The latest research was taken from a survey of more than 1,600 people across Britain in early August. The previous survey took place in May 2015.

Here are the average amounts of disposable cash people across Britain have left over each month after essential costs, according to the August survey:

:: North East, £266

:: North West, £365

:: Yorkshire and the Humber, £340

:: East Midlands, £510

:: West Midlands, £490

:: East Anglia, £615

::  London, £468

:: South East, £455

:: South West, £420

:: Wales, £243

:: Scotland, £331

And here are the average amounts of monthly disposable income people have by age group:

:: 18 to 24, £435

:: 25 to 34, £478

:: 35 to 44, £419

:: 45 to 54, £381

:: 55-plus, £426

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