Plastic spending puts number one first

14 March 2006
Brits spent three times as much on themselves as on their loved ones in the last quarter – at least if their credit card statements are anything to go by.

The Morgan Stanley credit card index calculated that a total of £8 billion of plastic spending was on so-called "Me" treats between October and December 2005, which works out at around £166 each.

Partners or spouses only saw £55 of the total, while families were the recipients of £99, probably a result of Christmas and the associated spending splurge.

Women were more generous than men overall, spending twice as much on their friends and almost half (49 per cent) of their credit card expenditure going on their family and children. Men spent about a third (32 per cent) on their family and children and two per on their friends.

When it came to each other, however, spending habits converged, with men spending 14 per cent and women 15 per cent on their other halves.

In terms of age, the selfish twenty-something generation emerged looking worst, 62 per cent of spending going on personal items, compared with a UK average of 43 per cent.

Patrick Muir, marketing director, said: "Despite reports of a quiet end to 2005 on the high street, our research shows that Britons still found time for the occasional self-indulgent purchase."

"Over the past few years we have observed a growing trend in using credit cards for making everyday purchases," he added.

To read more about credit cards, click here.

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