Do you overspend to keep up with friends and family?

Do you overspend to keep up with friends and family? image

If there’s one thing that’s sure to put your financial plans and spending discipline at risk, it’s the fear of missing out.

Just the sight of a friend or relative going to an expensive restaurant, taking holidays in a posh resort or booking tickets to expensive shows can get us pulling out our wallets and purses so we can do the same – with little thought for what it all costs in the long run. 

So how much are we actually spending on keeping up with the Joneses? Well, more than you might think. 

According to research commissioned by TopCashback, nearly one in four adults have spent more than £200 over the last year to match the lifestyles of friends and family members. Interestingly, it’s men who are flashing the most cash to keep up with the lifestyles of others, spending £309, compared with £291 among women. Figures also showed that 13 per cent of adults are dipping into their savings to fund their lifestyle, while 12 per cent are turning to credit cards. Furthermore, the survey revealed that young adults are spending the most to keep up with others, with under-25s spending an average of £416. 

Of course, there will be many reasons why people are spending more on matching the lifestyles of their friends and family. For instance, soaring inflation over the past few years has pushed up prices across the board, and many people’s wages won’t have kept pace with the rate of price increases. But it’s clear that in some cases, such as those who are diving into their savings or turning to credit to fund their lifestyle, they’re living beyond their means – and that can cause big problems for the future. 

Nobody is saying that people can’t have nice things, whether that’s a holiday, an expensive theatre ticket, a new car or the best table in a restaurant. But you’re much more likely to genuinely enjoy your purchase if you know that you can actually afford it, without the risk of debt hanging over your head. 

At the same time, living within your means ensures that any long-term goals you may have, such as funding your child’s education or retiring comfortably, remain firmly in sight. Many of us will dream of matching the extravagant lifestyles of others without any financial worries, and that’s a perfectly reasonable aspiration to have. But ultimately, it depends on building a solid financial foundation – and that’s where we can help. 

Our specialist financial planners can work with you to establish your specific needs, circumstances and priorities, as well as your ambitions for the future. We can then help you build a comprehensive financial plan, so you can be sure of living the lifestyle you want and deserve, without being plagued with money worries. 

If you have any questions about creating a financial plan for the future, please get in touch with our friendly team of specialists and we’ll be happy to speak with you. 

It is important to take professional advice before making any decision relating to your personal finances. Information within this article does not provide individual tailored investment advice and is for guidance only. We cannot assume legal liability for any errors or omissions it might contain. Ethical Futures llp is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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