Britons splurge £167m a day on YOLO purchases

4th December 2015


More than five millions impulse purchases are made every day costing £167 million.


Over a quarter (28%) of the ‘YOLO’ purchases, or ‘you only live once’ items, are bought on credit.


And it seems more and more Brits are using YOLO as a reason to make unplanned purchases – 15 million people have made an impulse purchase in 2015, a figure that has increased 158% since 2012.


The purchases are likely to take place on or just after paydays, with 45% purchased at this time, and are usually bought as a reward (39%) or to cheer ourselves up (32%).


The YOLO purchases are likely to include buying clothes (40%), eating out (35%), buying a takeaway (30%), buying the latest gadgets (20%) and booking a holiday (17%).


The problem with many of the purchases is that they lead to debt with the average person getting into £293 of debt due to their YOLO purchases.


One in eight people regret their YOLO purchase and one in five later promised themselves never to do it again.


Among all YOLO purchases one in six were not needed or wanted and a third of people have had to cut back on other spending after their spur of the moment purchase.


The sexes have different attitudes to YOLO spending, with women more likely than men to splash out on themselves or treat the children. Women are also more likely to purchase when they see a special offer or sale.

Men on the other hand are three times more likely to make a YOLO purchase after drinking alcohol and almost twice as likely as women to buy something after a good day at work.


Worryingly, four in 10 Britons agreed with the statement: ‘there’s not point worrying about the future because you only live once’ and a further 70% say they will spend money whenever they feel like it.


Andy Webb, money expert at the Money Advice Service, said: ‘YOLO stands for ‘you only live once’, but careless spending today can cause problems tomorrow. While we all like to reward ourselves every now and then with a YOLO purchase, the best thing to do is to acknowledge that you’re likely to buy yourself treats and budget for it.


‘If you’re finding yourself regretting impulse spending then there are small steps you can take to curb this. YOLO spending thrives on opportunity – so one trick is to leave your cards at home and only take the money with you that you can afford. If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it.’



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