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At Solution Loans, we wanted to find out which reckless spending habits are leaving Brits strapped for cash this Christmas – so we conducted an online study (10,000 participants) to learn more.

With options ranging from making unnecessary impulse purchases to paying for unused subscriptions, we asked the general public to let us know which bad spending habits they were guilty of. Respondents were able to select more than one answer, and the results are included below – segmented by gender, age group and geography.

credit cards for everyday essentials

Topline results:

Question: Which of these bad spending habits do you have?

  • Making unnecessary impulse purchases: 42.6%
  • Failing to negotiate better deals on monthly bills: 23.7%
  • Paying for subscriptions you don’t use: 20.2%
  • Living in your overdraft: 17.0%
  • Using credit cards for everyday essentials: 13.0%
  • Exceeding your phone contract limits: 12.5%

By Gender

Men:

  • Making unnecessary impulse purchases: 41.0%
  • Failing to negotiate better deals on monthly bills: 24.6%
  • Paying for subscriptions you don’t use: 20.8%
  • Living in your overdraft: 15.8%
  • Using credit cards for everyday essentials: 13.1%
  • Exceeding your phone contract limits: 12.6%

Women:

  • Making unnecessary impulse purchases: 46.1%
  • Failing to negotiate better deals on monthly bills: 22.7%
  • Paying for subscriptions you don’t use: 20.8%
  • Living in your overdraft: 18.8%
  • Using credit cards for everyday essentials: 14.9%
  • Exceeding your phone contract limits: 11.7%

unnecessary impulse purchases

By Age

18-24s:

  • Making unnecessary impulse purchases: 56.3%
  • Living in your overdraft: 19.7%
  • Paying for subscriptions you don’t use: 18.3%
  • Exceeding your phone contract limits: 18.0%
  • Using credit cards for everyday essentials: 9.9%
  • Failing to negotiate better deals on monthly bills: 8.5%

25-34s:

  • Making unnecessary impulse purchases: 54.3%
  • Failing to negotiate better deals on monthly bills: 32.9%
  • Paying for subscriptions you don’t use: 24.3%
  • Living in your overdraft: 16.3%
  • Using credit cards for everyday essentials: 15.7%
  • Exceeding your phone contract limits: 10.0%

35-44s:

  • Making unnecessary impulse purchases: 35.9%
  • Failing to negotiate better deals on monthly bills: 28.1%
  • Paying for subscriptions you don’t use: 23.4%
  • Living in your overdraft: 21.9%
  • Exceeding your phone contract limits: 12.5%
  • Using credit cards for everyday essentials: 9.4%

45-54s:

  • Making unnecessary impulse purchases: 27.5%
  • Living in your overdraft: 23.5%
  • Failing to negotiate better deals on monthly bills: 21.6%
  • Paying for subscriptions you don’t use: 19.6%
  • Using credit cards for everyday essentials: 15.7%
  • Exceeding your phone contract limits: 9.8%

55-64s:

  • Making unnecessary impulse purchases: 38.5%
  • Failing to negotiate better deals on monthly bills: 25.6%
  • Using credit cards for everyday essentials: 23.1%
  • Paying for subscriptions you don’t use: 17.9%
  • Exceeding your phone contract limits: 7.7%
  • Living in your overdraft: 5.1%

65+:

  • Making unnecessary impulse purchases: 51.9%
  • Failing to negotiate better deals on monthly bills: 37.0%
  • Paying for subscriptions you don’t use: 18.5%
  • Living in your overdraft: 14.8%
  • Using credit cards for everyday essentials: 11.1%
  • Exceeding your phone contract limits: 3.7%

living in your overdraft

By Country

England:

  • Making unnecessary impulse purchases: 42.5%
  • Paying for subscriptions you don’t use: 21.9%
  • Failing to negotiate better deals on monthly bills: 21.6%
  • Living in your overdraft: 17.2%
  • Using credit cards for everyday essentials: 14.4%
  • Exceeding your phone contract limits: 11.9%

Scotland:

  • Making unnecessary impulse purchases: 39.2%
  • Failing to negotiate better deals on monthly bills: 37.3%
  • Paying for subscriptions you don’t use: 15.6%
  • Living in your overdraft: 13.7%
  • Using credit cards for everyday essentials: 9.8%
  • Exceeding your phone contract limits: 8.8%

Wales:

  • Making unnecessary impulse purchases: 72.0%
  • Living in your overdraft: 21.5%
  • Failing to negotiate better deals on monthly bills: 12.3%
  • Paying for subscriptions you don’t use: 11.4%
  • Exceeding your phone contract limits: 10.8%
  • Using credit cards for everyday essentials: 2.5%