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Gift Spending 'Could Increase Debt Problems'

Aug 18, 2007
Britons are spending hundreds of pounds buying gifts for their partner, new figures indicate.

According to research carried out by MoneyExpert, consumers splash out 62 pounds every month on their other half, which when analysed over the course of a year accounts for 744 pounds and equates to 3.5 per cent of the average British salary. However, the financial services firm indicated that such spending could be impacting upon consumers' debt problems and ability to make personal loan repayments.

Sean Gardner, chief executive of MoneyExpert, said: "Consumer debt levels are at an all time high and while few of us are likely to rack up a debt based solely on present giving, it's worth considering whether it's really necessary to buy expensive gifts when a small gesture can go a long way."

Mr Gardner reported that Britons are "coughing up more than ever before" to buy presents for the likes of birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries. "Nobody wants to put a price on love but it seems that keeping the spark going has never cost more. It could be we are seeing the end of 'free love' in this country at least," he added.

Figures from the financial services company also reported that men spend the most out of the two sexes with an average expenditure of 71 pounds per month. However, about half a million males were said to shell out more than 500 pounds on their partners. Women, on the other hand, were said to spend 51 pounds on gifts.

Jewellery and watches, and computers were reported to be the two most popular gift choices accounting for 11.7 and 5.1 per cent of purchases respectively. Meanwhile, digital cameras and satellite navigation systems made up 0.9 and 0.8 per cent. However, more unusual choices included Koi Carp fish and sausage-making equipment.

Gift spending has also been reported to an element of the debts run up by those attending weddings. Research released by CreditExpert earlier in July revealed that when combined with the likes of clothes hire and accommodation - the average consumer spends a total of 386 pounds on someone's big day. Overall, the typical Briton shells out 70 pounds for a marriage present.

However, those living in London could be developing particularly high debt difficulties as some three per cent of people from the capital are reported to be prepared to spend between 400 and 500 pounds on a gift. Meanwhile, a proportion of older Britons were also said to be willing to spend above the national average. About seven per cent (one in 20) of those aged 65 and above say they would pay more than 500 pounds.

Consequently, 1.6 million consumers have been said to run-up debts on credit cards, personal loan and other forms of borrowing just to go to a wedding, with 45 per cent of Britons said to have felt pressured by family and friends to attend. Managing director Jim Hodgkins claimed that as a result consumers could be increasing their financial stress to go to a ceremony.
About the Author
Abbi Rouse writes for 1 Stop Finance Shop. A one stop shop for all your bad credit loans, debt consolidation loans and loans news.Visit Today
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