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UK Cash Habits Revealed

Apr 2, 2008
Cash transactions now account for only 29 per cent of all spending that takes place around the UK, according to a new report assessing the way the nation pays.

The typical Briton carries close to 33 pounds on his or her person at any given time but almost half of all consumers now only withdraw cash on a weekly basis, figures from the Motley Fool have demonstrated.

Relatively few people now carry large sums of cash around with them and one in six of those polled recently by the financial comparison firm said they only kept enough money on their person to address emergency financial situations.

However, with increased spending seeming to take place using plastic cards, it could be that people are accruing higher levels of debt when out on shopping sprees.

British men tend to carry more cash around with them than their female counterparts and the amounts that people keep in their pockets tend to increase with age, while elderly consumers are among those most likely to visit a cashier rather than a cashpoint to access their assets.

Generally, UK consumers are becoming more comfortable with using their debit and credit cards as a way of spending, with the former becoming particularly prevalent. Those who find that spending on a number of credit cards has left them with unmanageable repayments to make might like to consider loans as a means of improving their financial position. Millions of Britons now use credit card debt to fund their lifestyles and in many cases this can lead to serious financial problems and the need for debt consolidation.

In fact, the Motley Fool's research has shown that a third of all consumers around the country now use their credit card to fund their everyday activities and to cover their ordinary living expenses, which for many will result in debt troubles in the long run. While many people use plastic to spend in a manageable fashion, those who find themselves in difficulties might take on a debt consolidation loan in order to become free of the arrears they racked up through irresponsible use of credit cards.

David Kuo, head of personal finance at the Motley Fool, commented: "Plastic can be fantastic but relying on money we can't see is a reflection of how easy it has been to rely on credit in recent years.

"But since you are not paying in cash, it is all the more reason to take care as credit becomes more difficult to obtain."

And while many Britons choose to take out a loan in order to deal with their debt problems, Mr Kuo is keen to see more people contribute to a savings account in order to avoid these kinds of issues and the need for such action.

Meanwhile, research conducted recently on behalf of Abbey Insurance showed that around 48 per cent of consumers in the UK are worried about their personal finances in light of the problems affecting the economic climate. And recent observations from another financial commentator have suggested that people should increase the amount of time spent addressing financial pressures. Moneyfacts has said that, in the wake of recent months' overspending, many consumers would be well advised to look for the most cost effective borrowing products to minimise the financial impact of their debts.
About the Author
Abbi Rouse writes for All About Loans. Our visitors can apply online for poor credit secured loans. We also specialise in cheap loans, and the cheapest consolidation loans online.
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