Brits spend £45 billion keeping up with The Joneses

20 August 2007
One in five Brits admit to overspending due to peer pressure according to a new study by online credit monitoring service CreditExpert.co.uk.

Social spending has long been a problem for many people but the new research has revealed that the average person is overspending by £5,874 each year on purchases such as items for the home, clothes and cars.

Over a quarter (26 per cent) of the 1,450 people questioned admitted to feeling pressurised into paying over the odds for luxury items and a further 48 per cent said they regularly feel obliged to buy rounds of drinks at the pub or spend more than necessary on gifts for friends and family.

But it seems that the overspending is preferable to revealing their real financial situation with 37 per cent claiming to feel insecure about not fitting in.

As expected, men fork out £1,964 extra on frivolous motoring purchases in order to keep up with pals compared to women who will overspend by £1,068. Both sexes however, admit to regularly overspending on clothes purchases to the tune of £888 a year.

Commenting on the figures, Jim Hodgkins, Managing Director of CreditExpert.co.uk, said: “It’s staggering to see how much we’re overspending just to keep up with our peers. While it’s great to be generous at the bar or on a date, we should be spending because we want to and not because we feel pressured.

“Spending beyond your means because of peer pressure can result in mounting debts which could lead to a bad credit rating and, unfortunately, if your credit rating is unattractive to lenders, they will be less inclined to offer you credit.”

Unsurprisingly, 41% of teens and young adults aged between 18 and 24 have fallen victim to peer pressure purchases compared to the national average of 19%. Over half (59%) say their reason for splashing out is to avoid feeling as though they are missing out.

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