Money Wellness
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category iconmanaging your money
calendar icon25 Sep 2023

Over a quarter of Brits hiding spending from loved ones

Nearly three in 10 (28%) of us in the UK are hiding spending from our partners or families, according to a recent survey.

Nationwide’s Spending Report for August says that men are more likely than women to keep their spending a secret – 31% compared to 25%. And younger people are more prone to hide purchases from their loved ones, with 42% of 18-to-34 year olds doing it compared to 13% of those aged over 55.

The survey also found 18% of those questioned have kept their spending secret on more than one occasion.

Most popular items among secret spenders

The items most likely to make secret spenders splash the cash are:

  • Clothes (71%)
  • Food and drink (63%)
  • Secret savings (56%)
  • Shoes (55%)
  • Hair and make-up (52%)

How does secret spending make us feel?

  • 37% said it made them feel guilty
  • 25% said it made them feel happy
  • 21% said it make them feel excited

Worried about your spending?

If you’re hiding things you buy because you’re worried your spending is out of control, here are some tips that might help:

Work out what triggers your impulse to spend

When are you most likely to buy things you don’t need? Is it when you’re feeling anxious? Or bored? If you can work out what triggers your impulse to spend, it’ll be easier to control that urge. Find out more in our guide on the psychology behind impulse buying.

Set a budget

Seeing in black and white how much money you have left over each month to treat yourself, can make it easier to control your spending. Take a look at our guide on creating a budget.

Delete shopping apps

If you have shopping apps on your phone, you may be tempted to browse. Browsing can easily lead to impulse buying. Try deleting those apps. Unsubscribing from marketing emails from your favourite shops may also help reduce temptation.

Come up with cheaper ways to enjoy your spare time

Instead of going to the cinema and all the expense that involves, why not invite a friend over to watch a film at home? The snacks will almost certainly be cheaper. Similarly, you and your friends could take it in turns to have everyone round for a meal. You’ll spend a lot less than you would on food and drinks in a restaurant.

Get free help

If you need help getting your finances back on track, we're here for you. Get in touch for support tailored to your situation. That might include:

  • help coming up with a realistic budget
  • a benefits assessment to make sure you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to
  • advice on debt solutions if you can no longer afford to pay what you owe

You can access our help 24/7 online. Or if you prefer to speak to us on the phone, ring us on 0161 518 8285. We’re here:

Monday to Friday:           8am to 8pm

Saturday and Sunday:    10am to 4pm

You don't have to struggle on alone.

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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