Vain Brits Turn To Credit Cards
Published: 31 May 2012 By Peter Thompson Leave a Comment
Many Brits may be struggling with their personal finance matter but for some their vanity wins out as they turn to credit cards to keep up their appearances.
New research by Confused.com reveals that 40% of Brits use their credit cards to make themselves look good by buying beauty and grooming products. In fact over 10% actually regards having a fake tan an essential expense.
You might think that it’s the women that feel the need to splash out on image-enhancing products. But you wouldn’t be totally correct as for example 14% of men say waxing is an essential part of their grooming regime.
Others see the use of Botox as being vital or indeed some consider eyebrow shaping an essential part of their grooming regime.
From the findings it appears image really is everything for adults – 60% have bought clothing using their credit card, the most popular credit card purchase, while 28% have bought jewellery.
Some are influenced by the way celebraties look, including reality TV personalities from programs such as Made in Chelsea or The Only Way is Essex.
Overall, Kate Middleton is the most popular celebrity icon for women, followed by Cheryl Cole and Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton.
People are not just turning to their credit cards to look good though. Some use them simply to treat themselves. The worry is that over 11% of those polled believing spending on a credit card is easy money.
Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at Confused.com, comments: “A third (35%) of adults say they are spending more than they can afford this year, and it seems many are turning to credit when they haven’t got the cash or just fancy indulging themselves.
“All this spending has got to come at a price, however. We would urge people to think carefully about what’s essential versus what’s desirable when it comes to using their cards for buying things such as fake tan.
“People should ensure they have a solid plan in place for paying back any debt, and if anyone is struggling, they can speak to a specialist debt advice organisation such as Citizens Advice.”
MoneyHighStreet comments: “The number of people admitting they are spending beyond their means is quite alarming. Turning to credit cards to fund a lifestyle that you cannot afford is very dangerous to say the least.
“Apart from anything else, the debt problems you potentially will create will be extremely difficult to clear – if you don’t have the money in the first place how will you be able to pay the credit card bill at the end of the month? If you don’t pay it, you’ve then the problem of a missed payment to deal with.
“Of course you can make use of credit card deals, such as 0% balance transfers and 0% on purchases, but at some point you need to pay off your debts.
“The key really is not to spend beyond your means. Try and be a little less vain, it really will help your finances and help you to avoid saddling yourself with debt problems.”