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Social pressures to overspend

Parents are spending more money on their children than they can afford as a result of social pressure, according to a new report.

Amber-Ainsley   Pritchard

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Credit management firm Intrum surveyed 24,400 consumers from across Europe, including 1,044 in the UK, for its annual consumer payment report which was published this week (December 4).


The report found almost a third of UK parents (31 percent) have experienced social pressure to buy something for their children that they feel they couldn’t afford during the past year. Most of them (96 percent) have acted on that pressure and bought something as a result.


Mikael Ericson, chief executive and president of Intrum, said: “Our analysis demonstrates how social pressure can result in unsound, long-term indebtedness. With the many options for credit that exist today, and the social pressure people report, we need to do more to create trust and teach every new generation how to spend responsibly.”


Young parents (aged 18 to 34) are especially vulnerable - more than half (53 percent) of this group reported feeling social pressure to overspend on their children.


The survey suggests much of this pressure is created online - almost a third of Brits agree that social media creates a pressure to consume more than they should.


The report also shows a dramatic increase in the number of people willing to buy on credit. More than a third (37 percent) of Brits now think it is acceptable to buy goods such as TVs or computers on credit, up from 27 percent in 2015.


Ericson added: “Credit is an important part of a functioning society, but we need to ensure it works well for all. Our analysis shows consumers are vulnerable to overspending and the social pressure to spend.”

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