You mention pensions, count yourself lucky you have one no matter what it is, I can't afford to put into a pension ergo I don't have one.
I really don't get this at all...
I started paying into pension schemes from my first full-time job at the age of 18 - and believe me, I wasn't earning much then. Think my first salary for a full-time job, in '88, was £4300 - that was private sector. Within about 3 months I got another job (public sector) probably earning £5-6k a year.
Even then, that was crap money, really - I just don't get this "can't afford pension" lark. Did you opt out from the outset, and now it's unaffordable, or have you been paying at times, but can no longer afford, now?
The problem for many, is they see it as optional. Really, though, the best way of looking at it, is like tax (as an overhead) or mortgage payments - because it falls into the same / similar category - enforced savings.
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