Although Britain is in the midst of the worst double dip recession seen since the 1970s, the love affair with shopping and in particular, credit cards has never been more passionate.
With millions of people carrying a ‘flexible friend’ it is easier than ever to resort to finance, if you don’t have the readies to buy what you want.
Whilst in the past you had to heave yourself off the sofa and trudge around packed shopping centres…or as others would describe it, enjoy a wonderful time browsing through the delights available in the many boutiques and little corners of paradise, the creation of the internet has changed how we shop forever.
The world wide web means we can sit at home in our pyjamas, watching TV out the corner of one eye whilst flicking through the latest online deals with the other. Somehow tapping in a credit card number doesn’t seem as painful as physically handing over the cash, which means racking up huge debts is so much easier to do! Whiling away the hours by idly thumbing through online shops might seem harmless enough, but with temptation just a click away, it can be difficult to resist.
But what exactly is everyone buying and is there a difference between the sexes? Who spends the most and on what? Prepare yourself for a shock…
Despite women having the reputation for being shopping fiends, it seems that when it comes to online spending at least, men have the edge.
This great Infographic ‘Men vs Women – Battle of Spending Habits’ from debt management specialists Baines & Ernst, shows that chaps aren’t scared of slapping goods on plastic, with spending on their credit cards an average 15% higher than their female counterparts.
The average amount spent online every year by men comes to an eye-watering £3,495, compared to just £3,210 for women. But what exactly is catching the eye of male shoppers?
According to studies, the things which men spend their money on are stereotypically male, with cars, car rental, restaurant and bar bills, tools and sports store buys the highest up on the list. However, blokes were also found to shell out an average of £235 more on travel online than women, a surprising £150 more on lifestyle and entertainment and £145 more on electronic products (no details of exactly what this involved…!).
In addition, of all the alcohol purchased, 73% is bought by men, whilst 69% of cars sold are bought by blokes. Items to repair property was the next rather less exciting thing on the list, with 67% of all transactions being made by men, whilst meals out paid for by men came to 66%. Gambling made up the final item in the top five, with 65% of all payments being made by males.
The items dominated by female spending painted a very different picture. Around 90% of women’s clothing was bought by the same sex, whilst females also bought 85% of children’s clothes and 80% of food for the household. When it comes to educational courses, women shelled out for 79% of them, whilst either school expenses or childcare was primarily paid for by females again, paying for 78% of the costs.
However, the survey revealed that women did not only spend money on their children and education. With a typical online spend of £3,210, top buys for ladies included healthcare, mail order transactions and pharmaceutical goods, as well as interior furnishings.
Women were also unveiled as the sex most likely to spend impulsively, with 85% likely to buy something compulsively. Fashion was also shown to be the Achilles heel for many women, with on average, females spending £315 per year more on fashion than men.
According to the UK Credit Card Association, during the first three months of 2012, around 60.9 million debit and credit cards were in active circulation, making it somehow less surprising to discover that spending on plastic is continuing unabated despite the economic downturn. What is more surprising is that it isn’t just women who like to give their credit card a good bashing; it appears that men are just as good – if not better – at indulging in a spot of armchair browsing.
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