Following the latest fashions is forcing UK women to rack up £13 billion in debts, uSwitch has discovered.
The findings from uSwitch show that 4 million UK women are gripped by shopaholicism as they strive to follow the latest clothing and ‘must have’ gadget fashions.
This is resulting in unsecured debts totaling £13 billion, the comparison website estimates, with an average personal debt for each female shopaholic exceeding £3000, which in almost three times the national average.
Credit cards, storecards and overdrafts are used by most women to finance their pursuit of fashion, however a significant number of women (41%) will ignore their overdraft limit to buy a ‘must have’ item.
On average, it takes a sophomoric women seven months to clear the unsecured debts resulting from shopping binges. This is forcing these women to direct almost a fifth of their income to servicing debt repayments.
It appears that an increasing number of men, too, are raking up debts to fund the latest gadget purchases such as the iPad and iPhone, as Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy, for uSwitch.com explains:
“In today’s celebrity obsessed society, any lessons learnt from the recession have been airbrushed out of the picture. Despite the financial constraints, women have carried on copying the lifestyles and shopping habits of their idols and ignoring the debt they are racking up in the process. But this spend-emic has spread and it’s clear that men too have caught on to the joys and perils of shopping.
“It’s time for everyone to pay serious attention to their spending habits. Short-term debt solutions may seem an efficient way to fund spending, but they can also lead to long-term debt if not managed properly. Consumers need to stay in control of their finances – it’s easy in the face of feeling impoverished to let go of the spending reins altogether. By recognising that risk and not falling victim to it, consumers can feel empowered and enjoy the pleasure-rush of a new purchase, without racking up more unsecured debt. It is all gain and no pain.”