Debt Advice Needed After January Sales

We all like to splash our cash a little bit in the January sales, and being so giving to others at Christmas makes many of us feel as though we can treat ourselves a little bit. But many of us also have debt free New Years resolutions too which can conflict with our sales spending.

It turns out debt advice could be needed by many after our January sales spree with almost £5 billion will be spent this month in the sales, according to research by Bright Grey. And although a bit of thrifty sales shopping means that we avoid paying full retail prices, it is important to remember that bargains are only bargains if we actually use them. This research goes even further to say we consider almost £2 billion of our hard earned cash spent in the January sales was  a ‘waste of money’.

54% of shopping done in the January sales tends to be spontaneous, with only 21% researching prices and shopping online to be sure of the best deal. Men are the biggest spenders, spending over £50 more than women, but more women consider their sales purchase to be wasted. To fit with the other typical New Years Resolutions, like losing weight and keeping fit, 10% of women buy clothes a size too small in hope they’ll eventually slim into it.

There is obviously the danger of overspending, which can lead many January sales spenders needing to seek debt advice to get their finances in order for 2010.

Roger Edwards, from Bright Grey, said: “Christmas can be enough of a strain, without adding huge bills for impulse purchases in the sales… It seems a lot of us are getting carried away with impulsive spending, but by simply cutting back a little we could put the money that’s saved towards protecting our lifestyle and financial security.”

Brits Waste Billions in the January Sales

  • Almost £2 billion spent in the January sales on purchases considered ‘a waste of money’*
  • 57% of women who shop in January sales have bought clothes that they never wear
  • One in 10 women buy clothes a size too small in the hope of losing weight – but don’t

Almost £5 billion** will be spent in the January sales in the UK this year as shoppers defy the recession and start the new decade with some serious splurging.

More than half (54%) of those who shop in the January sales said they tend to shop spontaneously in the sales, compared to only 21% of people who said they research prices and shop online to be sure of getting the best deal. Getting carried away when sales shopping can be a dangerous habit, particularly as 2010 looks set to be another tough year for many financially.

Research from Bright Grey, the protection specialist reveals that almost 2 billion pounds is likely to be wasted in the January sales this year, with people throwing money away on items they don’t need or won’t use. Although men are revealed as the bigger spenders (spending an average of £56 more than women), women are more likely (66% of women compared to 48% of men) to have bought things in the past they considered to be wasted purchases. Indeed a massive 57% of women have bought items of clothing they have never worn, and 10% have even bought clothing a size too small in the hope they’ll slim into it.

Whilst women are spending heavily on clothes, men are perpetuating their own stereotypes. Proving it’s very much boys and their toys, men are much more likely to head for the electronics departments, with 35% of them saying they use the January sales to buy products such as TVs, games consoles, and stereos, compared to only 20% of women.

The research also reveals that big ticket purchases continue to be a draw, with just under half (48%) of those who shop in the sales using them to pick up high value goods. The danger of over-spending in the current climate is clear – with the job market uncertain, many people could easily stretch too far and be left in real trouble.

Roger Edwards, proposition director at Bright Grey commented: “Christmas can be enough of a strain, without adding huge bills for impulse purchases in the sales. Games consoles, designer clothes, TVs – people always manage to justify these big ticket items as being bargains.

“The real shocker is the amount wasted in unsuitable purchases. It seems a lot of us are getting carried away with impulsive spending, but by simply cutting back a little we could put the money that’s saved towards protecting our lifestyle and financial security in the event of a serious illness or prolonged time off work.”