/ Money

Blokes spend more on yours truly – stop being greedy

Two recent surveys suggest Brits are spending rather than saving, with men likely to spend more on themselves than women. Are we ignoring the current dire economic situation just to “eat, drink and be merry”?

A new survey from Standard Life shows that people are currently spending much more on their credit cards each month than they are managing to put away into savings and Isa accounts. UK adults are hitting their credit cards to the tune of £317 each month, while only building up their savings by £140.

In another survey, Capital One reports that men are spending £72.20 each month on gifts for themselves, compared with the £54.20 that women set aside for treats. This might be partially explained by the fact that men still tend to earn more. Nevertheless, isn’t this just plain greedy?

Credit card madness

Standard Life’s findings contradict the current belief that people are paying off their debts and trying to boost their savings. Though it could be that Brits are using their credit cards to pay regular bills as they struggle with their finances.

Retail figures seem to suggest that shoppers aren’t going mad with their plastic yet. But if you do have any spare cash at the end of the month, you should address any debt first, use your Isa allowance and then put money into savings accounts.

However, this would be the sensible option and none of us are sensible when it comes to dealing with our cash, me included.

Men are greedy

The fact that men are spending more on themselves will come as no surprise to many. Some men, myself included, will always find new ‘toys for boys’ to waste our cash on. My wife, on the other hand, is more likely to buy stuff that benefits the whole family.

Reliance on your credit card is a dangerous ploy and harks back to the middle of the last decade when people had a laissez faire attitude to borrowing and credit, just before the economy bombed.

So, two key questions emerge from these surveys:

  • Is it sensible, given the ongoing economic gloom, that we are spending more on our credit cards at the moment than we are managing to save?
  • And are men more selfish than women when it comes to spending on themselves?
Comments
Member

What counts as a ‘treat for myself’? I’m single, so almost all of my spare money is spent on me.

Given that I’m lucky enough to have a job, I spend way more than those £50-70 per month on things that I want to buy. I’m not sure I deserve to be labelled ‘greedy’ – I’m pretty generous with my money when there are actually people to buy for, but I don’t have a husband/girlfriend/children/etc on whom I’d be expected to spend cash.

Member

For years I have been putting money away every month for a rainy day.It is now raining. I am spending my savings. This is partly because there are some great bargains to be had and partly because while I was saving hard I was also frugal and things eventually need replacing. I don’t think these surveys really tell us much about the multitude of spending behaviours across a diverse demographic like ours. Many people use credit cards as a time-shift and to give flexibility in repayment, not to incur more debt overall; most people are pretty canny and can work out when to take advantage of special offers and when not to draw down savings if a bonus is on the horizon.

Member

This is ludicrous. On my below the poverty line state pension of £106 I cannot afford to save – All my income goes on utilities and other fixed costs except for around £16 a week – That I waste on FOOD – Now If I am to believe EDF my electricity bill is to DOUBLE – so starve or freeze.

Rubbish – Waste money? I don’t get enough to spend!!

Member

It is interesting to read that men spend more on themselves than women do.

What happens when the cost of new clothes and shoes is included in the calculation? 🙂

Member
Naveed Bhatti says:
6 October 2011

I disagree. Women count more things as essential than men do. I believe men may have more expensive taste in such things as electronics if you were looking at it just by the number of things bought instead of the amount spent it would give a much more even split.

I am saving at the moment. Not for something but just in case of emergencies. E.g. My telly dies, or my shoes, which have been rehealed 5 times decide to call it a day. It also helps me to sleep better. But the interest rates most banks are offering are paltry and the only way to get decent returns is to lock the money into a bond for at least 12 months so you can get some growth. I have some credit card debt which is a balance transfer but I am looking to pay that off before the interest free period runs out in January 2012.