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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 February, 2004, 21:58 GMT
Sunday marks debt 'freedom' day
The average person works for 45 days just to pay off the interest on their debts, according to new research.

To celebrate the passing of this day, financial advisers have declared 15 February as "Debt Freedom Day".

The amount we owe from personal loans and credit cards has gone up by half over the last three years to nearly 60bn.

This means it now takes us another 13 days salary to pay off a year's worth of interest compared to two years ago.

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The calculation assumes an average salary of 26,304 a year, and the average interest paid on credit card debts is 15.21% and 14.26% for loans.

We need to start budgeting again
David Elms, IFA Promotion

It does not include secured debt, such as mortgages.

With interest rates looking set to rise further before the year's out, next year's debt freedom day is likely to be even later.

David Elms of IFA Promotion: "Clearly, as a nation, we're not fully aware of the profound effect this borrow-to-spend culture is having on our ability to save for the future - so through this hypothetical date we're hoping to get across a very real point."

"We need to start budgeting again, looking at all our income and expenditure, and how we're financing this."

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