Poor Money Management and Social Pressures Are Sinking UK Wallets; Latest Consumer Survey Finds


With the UK becoming increasingly comfortable with post-pandemic life, people are starting to spend more time out socialising, and more time spending money that they weren’t spending during the lockdown.

Following its survey of UK adults, credit card company Aqua has uncovered the key factors contributing to Brit’s social overspending.

According to the results, Brits overspend an average of £328.22 annually at restaurants and £287.19 at bars and pubs; the two worst environments for overspending.

It was also found that although people did consistently overspend in social situations, respondents reported feeling anxiety (24 per cent), regret (16 per cent) and guilt (12 per cent) when they felt pressured to do so.

The survey delves into the UK regions that are most prone to overspending, identifying the biggest spenders against the country’s biggest savers.

Here’s an outline of what Aqua’s survey found:

  • Londoners are the biggest social spenders

Those living in the Greater London area tend to spend more money than the rest of the country on their social lives, according to the research.

When comparing the basics of a regular night out like the average cost of a pint in London (£5.50) vs. other areas of the UK such as Leeds (£3.54) it’s easy to understand why Londoners have a more expensive social life.

On average, Greater London residents put aside £101.03 per month for socialising with friends, £108.77 per month for spending time with family, £96.28 for going out with colleagues and £110.46 for spending time with and going out with their partner.

  • Baby boomers are the most frugal 

Aqua found those over the age of 55 were the least likely to overspend, with almost three-quarters of respondents over 55 stating that they don’t feel pressured to spend more money than they want to when out, compared to 58 per cent of those aged between 25 and 34.

  • Men overspend more than women each month

The research revealed that men tend to overspend more than women by £21.87 per month, meaning men spend a massive £977.76 a year above their annual budget. This compares to £715.32 for women, a difference of £262.44.

  • Financial status is the main reason people overspend

As many as one in three respondents said they overspent as they didn’t want their friends and family to think that they couldn’t afford things. Additionally, 28 per cent of the participants said that the fear of missing was the cause of their overspending habits.

“Socialising is a part of everyone’s day-to-day life, but nobody should feel that they have to avoid socialising due to financial stress,” said Sharvan Selvam, commercial director at Aqua.

“Creating a budget allows you to understand what you can afford each month, and reduce the risk of going over credit limits or into overdrafts. Additionally, learning to effectively talk about finances with loved ones will help alleviate some of the pressure that you may feel to overspend.”

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.