Where does all the money go?

Survey reveals how your salary is spent

detail of young woman showing her empty pockets

While your bank balance may look pretty healthy on the first day of the month, it generally doesn't stay that way for long. Housing costs, childcare and other bills can leave you with little left over for fun.

But what you spend on these essentials varies around the country, and a new survey from Provident has revealed how the different regions spend their pay.

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"The East Midlands are found to spend the highest percentage of their wages on accommodation, with residents revealing that over a third of their income is instantly spent putting a roof over their heads," the researchers say.

"Welsh residents don't get an easy ride either, with a shocking 13% of the average wage going straight out of their account to cover loans and childcare."

In London, on average, sky-high rents and property prices mean more than a quarter of people's salaries go on housing.

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Meanwhile, the UK has the highest childcare costs in the world, at average of £6.69 an hour - £8.45 in London.

"I think many people assume childcare providers charge a flat rate for their services, but as our data shows it varies widely across the country," says Richard Conway, CEO and founder of Childcare.co.uk.

"Prices vary according to supply and demand, as well as other factors including house prices and employment."

But other costs vary around the country too. Recent figures from job site City Calling reveal that going to the cinema or the gym in London costs twice as much as it does elsewhere.

Belfast residents, for example, are able to live to the same standard as Londoners while earning an average of £10,000 less.

"Salary growth has been slower since the economic downturn in 2008 coupled with the impact of Brexit," says CEO Paul David Munnelly.

"We are seeing more people than ever escaping to other regions of the UK where industries are on the rise and the cost of living hasn't caught up, so incomes can stretch further."

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Regional salaries, and the proportion taken up by rent/bills

East Midlands, £23,193.60 - 34.8%
Wales, £23,635.20 - 34.2%
North East, £23,712 - 34.1%
Northern Ireland, £23,769.60 - 34%
Yorkshire and The Humber, £23,918.40 - 33.8%
North West, £24,153.60 - 33.5%
South West, £24,240 - 33.3%
West Midlands, £24,489.60 - 33%
East, £25,382.40 - 31.8%
Scotland, £25,680 - 31.5%
South East, £27,168 - 29.7%
London, £32,198.40 - 25.1%

Proportion taken up by childcare/bills

East Midlands - 12.1%
North East - 11.9%
Wales - 11.9%
Northern Ireland - 11.9%
Yorkshire and The Humber - 11.8%
North West - 11.7%
South West - 11.7%
West Midlands - 11.5%
East - 11.1%
Scotland - 11%
South East - 10.4%
London - 8.7%

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