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Tackling your debts

What prompts you to splash the cash?

Posted 26 August 2014

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<p>Sales, holidays and payday all increase the likelihood of Brits spending their money. However, blowing the budget regularly could lead to problems.</p>

Nearly everyone has that little weakness that causes us to reach for our purse or wallet and splash the cash. It might be going to buy one outfit but buying five because the shop has a sale on. Or perhaps being on holiday causes you to take a more relaxed attitude to your spending. And knowing it’s payday might be enough to make you really loosen the grip on those purse strings.

Bargain hunt

The situation that most prompts Brits to spend is spotting a product with its price marked down. Two-thirds of respondents to a survey* recently conducted for us admitted that seeing something on sale was the situation most likely to convince them to spend. Of course, it’s well known us Brits love a bargain, and snapping up a sale item could save you money … but if you hadn’t planned to spend that money in the first place, you’ll actually be out of pocket.

Women were more likely than men to be seduced into splashing their cash on a bargain; while nearly three-quarters of 45 to 54 years olds said seeing a good deal meant they were more inclined than usual to spend.

Happy holidays

Going on holiday was another situation that put people in a relaxed-enough mood than they were more likely to shop. A quarter of respondents said that being on holiday increased the chance of them making a purchase.

Of course, it’s not surprising that getting away from it all and being able to unwind puts us in a good mood. But if holidaymakers start splashing too much cash, they may not feel quite as chipper once they get back home and see their bank statement.

Payday excitement

The third most popular reason given by respondents for prompting them to spend was payday. The knowledge that their wages or benefits had gone into their accounts was all it took for nearly one in five of those surveyed to say they would be more likely than normal to make a purchase as a result.

While on payday you know that you have the cash available to make the purchase, if you spend too much at the start of the month it could make budgeting for your more essential costs trickier once you get to the end of the month.

Stay on the safe side

It sounds simple but having a budget in place and not being swayed by sales or the thought that you’ve been paid really is the best way to stay on top of your finances. Of course, it’s only natural to treat yourself now and again, but if this becomes a regular habit you could find you're overly relying on credit to fund it.

If you’re in a situation where your spending has led to you trying to find the money to cover multiple debt repayments and you’re struggling to also afford all your other living costs, it might be worth speaking to a debt professional. Our expert advisors are on hand to talk through your situation and recommend the debt solutions they think will best meet your needs.


*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 24Th July and 31st July 2014, of whom 620 were Scottish residents.

by Kyri Levendi

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.