Brits are guiltiest spenders in Europe, says survey


Brits are the guiltiest spenders in Europe when it comes to treating themselves, according to a European-wide survey from Mastercard.

UK shoppers spend £28 a month on average on ‘personal purchases‘ while a quarter say that buying themselves a treat makes them feel guilty.

The survey, of 12,434, polled adults across eight European countries and found that one in ten Brits never treat themselves with ‘cheering yourself up‘ the main reason for Brits buying treats.

Across all the eight countries surveyed it was the smaller treats such as meals out, takeaways, chocolates, sweets and cakes that are purchased more regularly, indicating that is the smaller purchases that make the most difference to general mood.

The survey found that Germans spend the most on treats (£60) while Turkish people spend £48 on others – making them the most generous in Europe.

Independent Financial Expert Alvin Hall said: “While differences abound, the common attributes about treats across the countries surveyed are fascinating.

“Everyone deserves one now and then” is one of the top two choices in nearly every country. So the old adage that “Man (and woman) cannot live by bread alone” appears to be a core, cross-cultural belief and essential to people‘s happiness.

Jennifer Palmer from MasterCard added: “Across the board one thing is clear though: high or low value treats are a fundamental part of people‘s lives and bring them a small sense joy and constancy, particularly in the current economic climate.”

Women were more likely to spend money on clothes, bags and shoes as were men who also purchase meals out, alcohol, CDs, DVDs and video games.

Average spend on personal treats for ourselves per market:

  1. Germany (€72)
  2. Italy (€58)
  3. Belgium (€57)
  4. France (€50)
  5. Turkey (€49)
  6. Sweden (€46)
  7. Russia (€41)
  8. UK (€32)

Average spend on treats for others per market:

  1. Turkey (€58)
  2. Germany (€55)
  3. Belgium (€53)
  4. Italy (€45)
  5. Russia (€44)
  6. France (€42)
  7. Sweden (€41)
  8. UK (€21)

Top 5 reasons for buying treats across Europe:

  1. To cheer myself up (36%)
  2. It‘s the weekend (26%)
  3. I am celebrating (24.6%)
  4. When on holiday / off work (23.4%)
  5. I‘ve just been paid (18.6%)