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Scotland’s Spending FRIEND-zy: Edinburgh spends more money on socialising than Glasgow

Posted: 3rd August 2017

• Edinburgh residents spend £180K on socialising in a lifetime according to new research from Barclays, £30K more than Glasgow
• Almost half of Scots (48 per cent) dip into their savings to finance their social life
• Edinburgh ranked fourth in UK’s top 10 cities that spend the most on socialising

Party loving Edinburgh residents spend more on having a good time than any other city in Scotland according to new research from Barclays.

According to the statistics, the capital’s population will spend £180,119 over the course of their life time (17% more than Glasgow) on social occasions like birthdays and nights out as well as holidays with friends.

While many might assume London is the most expensive city for socialising in the UK, it’s not as pricey as Leeds or Bristol. The survey of 2,000 UK adults found that residents in Leeds spend more than any other city in the UK, with locals forking out a whopping £213K on social occasions over the course of a lifetime. Edinburgh took the fourth spot while Glasgow ranked seventh for social spending.

Top 10 cities that spend the most on socialising:

1. Leeds £213,245
2. Bristol £199,617
3. London £192,028
4. Edinburgh £180,119
5. Birmingham £170,068
6. Liverpool £161,012
7. Glasgow £150,372
8. Manchester £143,910
9. Newcastle £135,951
10. Cardiff £128,572

Proving that Scottish savers don’t always consider the long-term impact of their social spending, almost half (48 per cent) said they either often or sometimes dip into their savings to finance their packed social calendars, while two-fifths of Scots (40 per cent) admit struggling to save money due to their love of socialising.

This may come as no surprise as the survey also revealed that 45 per cent of Scots regard being popular as important to them, particularly in Edinburgh (55 per cent) compared to 44 per cent in Glasgow and 34 per cent in Aberdeen.

Peer pressure appears to the main culprit which causes Scots to overspend at social functions, with a quarter of Scots (24 per cent) splashing the cash on friends to avoid looking stingy and 16 per cent spending above their means through “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO).

Clare Francis, Savings and Investments Director at Barclays, comments: “This research demonstrates the impact that peer pressure and FOMO can have on people’s finances, particularly during this period of high inflation. But popularity doesn’t need to come at a cost.

“For anyone feeling under pressure to overspend, take the time to consider whether you’d rather be putting that money towards your long-term financial goals. True friends will be considerate when you say you can’t afford something, and there are always cheaper alternatives when it comes to having a good time. Voicing your concerns now could make a big difference to your finances in the long term, as there is no time like the present to start saving for your future.”

Under pressure:

• The people of Edinburgh worry the most about appearing tight with money, with over a quarter (27%) thinking their friends will judge them if they attempt to be frugal.
• The research showed that Glaswegians are the least likely to talk about money with mates, with over a fifth (22%) feeling awkward about discussing budgets with friends
• The people of Newcastle feel the most pressure when it comes to spending after hours, with a fifth claiming friends often coerce them into overspending on nights out.
• The research found that the people of Cardiff believe themselves to be the most popular, with almost three quarters (73%) believing they have lots of mates. However, residents of Cardiff are also most guilty of spending money for fear of missing out, with a fifth (19 %) admitting to dishing out the dough due to FOMO.
• Bristolians are most likely to get irritated with friends that don’t consider that they have less disposable income than them when making plans, with a quarter (24%) admitting this.
• The people of Manchester are the least conscious of friends with less money than them, with a quarter (25%) not bothered if their friends can afford social occasions, so long as they themselves can.
• Londoners might be most guilty of emptying their piggy banks, with 41% of residents claiming to regular dip into their savings to afford nights out with friends. Londoners also feel the most pressure to spend money on their partners, with a tenth (11%) claiming to be under the thumb of their spouse.
• The people of Birmingham are most guilty of having a financial feud with a friend, with almost a fifth (17%) having fallen out with a mate over money

Who spends the most on:

• Nights out – Edinburgh residents spend £101K on nights out in their lifetime
• Work Nights Out – Londoners spend £52,961 on evenings out with colleagues in a lifetime
• Taxis – Londoners rack up a total fare of £38,749 in a lifetime
• Holidays – Cardiff residents splash the most cash on holidays, spending £4,447 on holidays with friends in a lifetime
• Parties – Leeds locals spend almost £5K on parties in a lifetime


A night in with friends
Social occasions can be a considerable drain on your finances and if you’re not careful, the cost can get out of control – a new outfit, drinks, food, taxi fare, it all adds up. Instead of going out, why not try staying in? This doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a dull affair. You could host a cocktail party and ask everyone to bring a bottle of spirit or mixer, or have tapas and TV party and ask each friend to bring one dish. There are lots of ways to spend quality time with friends without breaking the bank. After all, a good time indoors is still a good time.

The friends sharing economy
In a recent survey, Barclays found that a third of people living in the UK would be interested in having a monthly cap on the amount they could spend in their favourite stores. This is because we are a nation of impulse buyers, but while it might be tempting to buy a new outfit for every night out, the cost can often be too high. Instead of buying that new dress, why not swap one of yours with a friend’s? Open up the conversation and find the people in your group that are open to making an exchange and roll with it. You never know, your old ‘rag’ might be just what they’ve been looking for.

Free activities
There is a tendency among Brits to spend a lot of money when they go out with friends, but it’s not always necessary. With summer officially here, why not spend an afternoon in the park. Or for rainy days, take a trip to a free museum or an art gallery. Try going out without spending money anything – you’ll discover there are lots of ways to have fun without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for inspiration, head online and find recommendations on local websites and money saving forums.

Plan ahead and start saving early
If planning a big social event with a group of friends (say a holiday or a hen or stag do), consider setting up a standing order. You and your mates can make regular monthly payments over a period of time so that when the time comes to go away, your trip will already be paid for. And importantly, it will be paid for in a regular way that won’t leave you feeling cash-strapped. Another great way to save is by setting up a flexi-saver account or Cash ISA to run alongside your regular savings account. Putting away even £50 a month can make a real difference when it comes to paying for those big social occasions.

Set a monthly budget
Our research found that a significant number of people often spend money with friends due to fear of missing out or because of peer pressure, but there are easy ways to avoid this. Create a monthly budget (based on your incomings and out-goings) and set aside a figure that is specifically saved for social occasions. If you want to go a step further, then create a separate pot for ‘last minute invitations’. If you’re really struggling for cash though, don’t be afraid to say no. Your friends will forgive you!
Depending on your savings goal, head to Barclays finance manager to learn more on different ways to save:

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