Credit crunch Britain sacrifices spending to keep loved ones happy

Posted in: Research Last updated: 29 Nov 2007

People struggling to make ends meet are preparing to forgo luxuries and work longer hours in order to provide for their loved ones, according to new research from Engage Mutual.

People struggling to make ends meet are preparing to forgo luxuries and work longer hours in order to provide for their loved ones, according to new research from engage Mutual.

With recent figures showing that disposable income is at its lowest level in 10 years* and commentators suggesting that many may shun credit card spending this Christmas**, the Engage research shows that the tide is turning on consumerism as the ‘have it now’ generation prepare to make financial sacrifices to give loved ones what they want.

Of the almost one in two people in a relationship who say that they share their finances with their partner, and that their own spending and earnings impact what their partners has (48%), 88 percent would make sacrifices to ensure that their partner was kept in the manner to which they are accustomed.

Cuts backs to provide for partners:

  • almost one in three in a relationship is bracing themselves to cut back on spending on clothes and luxuries for themselves, in order to ensure that their partner has what they want (30%)
  • nearly one in four is prepared cut back on going out (22%)
  • just under one in five people in a relationship will work extra hours to provide their other half with the things they want (19%), and
  • almost one in ten is prepared to go to the extent of changing their job if they become unable to give their partner what they way want (9%).

The research, amongst a GB representative sample of nearly 1,600 people in a relationship, was conducted by Engage Mutual as part of its 3GB research campaign which seeks to understand how changing financial circumstances in the UK are impacting relationships. The results go against pre-held conceptions of a credit card nation spending for today and reveal that many Brits are gearing themselves to cut back in order to keep their nearest and dearest in the lifestyle they aspire to.

Further findings:

Saving and borrowing

  • perhaps signalling a growing reluctance to take on debt, just 7 per cent of those in a relationship would be prepared to take on debt to support their partners’ wishes, compared to 21 percent who would take money from their savings account.

Gender roles

  • women are less prepared to make financial sacrifices for their partner. One in four women would go without clothes and luxuries (25%), compared to one in three men (35%), and just less than one in five would be prepared to go out less (19%), compared to one in four men (25%).
  • 4 percent of women in a relationship would consider ending the relationship with their partner if they felt pressure to go without in order to provide for their partner, compared to 2 percent of men.

regional findings

  • Those in the North East are the most generous when it comes to giving up clothes and luxuries to save more money to keep their partner happy (41%).
  • People in the Midlands are the most likely to sacrifice nights out to save money (28%), whereas those in Yorkshire are the least prepared to miss out on a night on the town (12%).

Karl Elliott, 3GB Spokesperson for engage Mutual Assurance, commented:

“It is encouraging that rather than taking on further debt, people are prepared to work longer hours and cut back on spending in order to treat their partner. Increased financial pressure could put strain on some relationships. However, as this research shows, preparedness amongst couples to support each other financially shows that the population are prepared to go without themselves in order to provide for their loved ones.”

“At a time when finances are being brought under pressure, Engage Mutual is committed to listening to our customers concerns, making it easier for them to save little and often for the future. By providing simple savings products that people can trust, we offer alternative ways for saving for the future which fit individual budgets and circumstances.”

Engage Mutual Assurance can be contacted on 0800 169 4321 or by visiting www.engagemutual.com.

The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions. Engage Mutual Assurance can be contacted on 0800 169 4321 or by visitingwww.engagemutual.com

For more information, please contact:

*Daily Telegraph,U-Switch Survey, 8th October 2007,http://www.telegraph.co.uk/global/main.jhtml?xml=/global/2007/10/08/noindex/ntax108.xml

**Reuters, Thomas Clarke Survey, 1st November 2007http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/articleinvesting.aspx?type=personalFinanceNews&storyID=2007-11-01T135945Z_01_NOA424916_RTRUKOC_0_BRITAIN-DEBT-CHRIMBO.xml&pageNumber=1&imageid=∩=&sz=13&WTModLoc=InvArt-C1-ArticlePage1

***Office of National Statistics: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=437&Pos=1&ColRank=2&Rank=224

notes to editors:
this research was undertaken by YouGov on behalf of engage Mutual Assurance. The survey was conducted between 25th and 27th September 2007, across a representative GB sample of 2,075 adults.
if using this article on a website, please link to www.engagemutual.com using the following hyperlink text: <a href=”http://www.engagemutual.com”/> <b>engage<b> Mutual Assurance – meeting the changing needs of today's modern families
engage Mutual Assurance is a trading style of Homeowners Friendly Society (HFSL) and it’s wholly-owned subsidiary engage Mutual Funds Limited (EMFL).
engage Mutual Funds Limited (EMFL) is a provider of the Child Trust Fund direct and in partnership with partners including Legal and General, ASDA and Debenhams stores.
engage supports mutuality, friendly societies and the regional financial services industry through links with the Association of Mutual Insurers, the Association of Friendly Societies, Mutuo and Leeds Financial Services Initiative.
established in 1980, Homeowners Friendly Society Limited (HFSL) is Registered and Incorporated under the Friendly Societies Act 1992, Reg.No.964F, it’s wholly owned subsidiary engage Mutual Funds Limited (eMFL) is Registered in England No 3224780. Both are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
Homeowners Friendly Society Limited’s FSA Register number is 110072 andengage Mutual Funds Limited’s FSA Register number is 181487. You can check this on the FSA’s Register by visiting the FSA’s website www.fsa.gov.uk/register or by contacting the FSA on 0845 606 1234