Look at what Brits spend their money on


Where do we splash the cash?

Want to know whether your spending habits are normal? Fancy finding out what Brits prioritise when it comes to personal finance? Interested to see how different countries compare? Then just take a look at what Brits spend their money on.

Brits love going out – in fact, entertainment spend went up by 11% in 2016 and was one of the fastest growing categories for what Brits spend their money on. It’s not just visits to the pub or days out with the family but trips to the cinema and the theatre, as well as seeing friends and cultural entertainment too.

But we especially love the pub – it was going to the pub that grew the most in terms of an activity that we spend the most on. In 2016 there was a 13% rise in spending on going to the pub. Followed closely by a 12.7% rise in going to restaurants. 2016 was a pretty tricky year for the people of Britain so perhaps it’s no surprise that this was something of a theme.

Travel is a big spend for Brits too – in 2016 the amount that we spent on travel grew by 3.4%. This was particularly focused on air travel, which we spent more on last year than the year before – covering the cost by using credit cards, personal loans and other types of loans. Having a poor credit score didn’t put people off borrowing either with plenty of loans for people with bad credit scores readily available. According to Nationwide FlexPlus, Brits spend roughly 10% of their salaries on travel and holidays. One in 10 Brits spends up to 30% of their annual income on travel related expenses.

Britain is a nation of animal lovers – in 2015 – 2016 Brits spent a record £7.16bn on pets. That’s an increase of 25% on pet spending since 2010 (according to a survey from Totally Money). Almost half of the UK population is a pet owner, whether that’s a cat, fish, dog or canary and for those people the average annual cost of owning a pet is around £500.

We have some of the best maintained cars in the world – a 2016 report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders established that Brits spend around £21.1 billion a year collectively on car servicing and repair. That makes for an average spend of £695.39 per year, per car owner, which is 12% higher than the global average.

British men are starting to invest more in their wardrobes – spending on men’s clothes increased by 6.8% last year. This figure was considerably higher than spending on women’s clothes which rose by only 0.8%. However, these figures do show that, even in tough financial times, Brits still like to look good with spending rising for both sexes, even if only a little.

British homes are our castles – the combination of furniture, gardens and DIY continued to be a major spend area for Brits in 2016-2017. Together, Brits spent £5.2 billion improving gardens in 2016 and £5.8 billion on DIY. Spend on interiors and furniture increased by 3.7% on the year before. An increasing trend is for parents to help out their adult children buy and improve their home with the help of guarantor loans with low interest rates.

As for where Brits don’t splash the cash, in 2016 spending dropped in three key areas: supermarket spending, petrol and electronic stores. However, these drops were all under 1%, indicating that, despite global uncertainty, we’re still not put off from splashing some cash pretty much across the board.