We're more likely to spend a windfall on a gift than on ourselves

The Momentum UK Team 19 May 2014

When presented with a windfall of £500, we are more likely to spend it on a gift for a loved one than treat ourselves, according to a recent survey.

The research, carried out by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, asked people how they would spend an unexpected windfall of £500. Almost half of those surveyed (43.7%) said they would put the money away for a rainy day, making saving the most popular option. A fifth of people (20%) said they would use the money for a holiday, while around 1 in 6 (17.5%) would treat a loved one - just 1 in 10 said they would use the money to pamper themselves.

The research highlighted some regional differences; in the North East, almost 1 in 3 said they would use the money to treat loved ones, compared to just 1 in 10 people in the Midlands. Four out of the top five regions for treating loved ones were in the North of the UK. Spending the money on home improvements was a priority in Yorkshire more than any other region, with 1 in 5 saying that’s what they would do.

Age seems to be another factor when it comes to how we spend our extra cash. Younger people (aged 16-24) are twice as likely as any other age group to treat themselves - possibly because this group is less likely to have started a family of their own. Twenty-five to thirty-four year olds were twice as likely to pay off their mortgage as those aged over 55.

Andrew Pearce, retail director for Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, commented on the findings:

“Whatever the circumstances, it’s always nice to get some extra money you didn’t expect.

“Whether you’re a homemover or you’re staying put, a bit of extra money to improve your home, cover some costs, take a break, or to simply make the ones you love smile with an unexpected treat, never goes amiss.”