Bargain buying could lead to more debt, says Norwich Union Insurance

09 January 2007
British shoppers are no longer embarrassed about buying cheap goods and are becoming addicted to bargain hunting, according to research by Norwich Union Insurance. But this "a little and very often" attitude is actually costing us more, with people getting themselves into debts through obsessive shopping. The study shows that:

• 17 % of spend more than planned because they can't resist a bargain

• 24% justify buying more goods because of low price tags

• More than half are proud to admit we are bargain buyers, and nearly a third get such a buzz they are always on the look out for the next hit.

The study has highlighted the 18-24 year old age group as the most likely to shop for bargain, with 58% of this age group saying they are proud to admit they have found a bargain and 10% saying they can't wait to tell someone about their steal of a deal.

Financial expert and presenter of C4's Your Money or Your Wife, Cesarina Holm-Kander, believes that we are witnessing a generation shift, which explains why shopping attitudes have changed so considerably over the past 40 years. “Norwich Union’s research has shown that people get a real buzz from bagging a bargain and that it can get quite addictive, but what we don’t realise is that while we’re spending less on single items, we’re spending much more frequently – what used to be an occasional shopping trip has become a weekly activity for many British women. This could explain why, despite the popularity of bargain shopping, more and more Brits are getting themselves into serious debt.”

Dominic Clayden, director of technical claims at Norwich Union, comments: “Our research shows a change in buying behaviour, with young adults especially happy to splash out more regularly on bargains. But can all those small price tags lead to big bills at the end of each month?"

“Worryingly many people also appear to be losing track of how much their belongings are actually worth. So we would remind people, when renewing their home insurance, to take into account those extra items they have bought themselves to ensure they are all sufficiently insured.”

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