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Brits’ guilt at £1,600 of secret spending

From clothes to gadgets, a hefty 9.5 million of us weren’t honest about our spending last year – and we feel bad about it.

Ever felt guilty about the cost of something you’ve bought? Perhaps you know your family or friends wouldn’t approve of you splashing out? For many, the answer is to keep quiet, with the average Brit keeping £1,600 of credit card spending secret each year, according to a survey by LV.

Men were most likely to lie about clothes and gadgets, while women hid their spending on clothes and shoes.

Our own research found couples have an average of 39 arguments about money a year, so it’s no surprise nearly a third (31%) of Brits disguise these purchases because they fear it could cause a fight.

But the biggest reason people gave for lying was guilt over the true cost (42%).

As long as your secret spending isn’t putting you into debt, we’ve three ways you can spend (almost) guilt-free.

Offset your guilt

If you don’t want to come clean about wasting money, why don’t you match your spending with something altogether less sinful?

Perhaps put the same amount into a savings account or add it to your pension. You’ll also be less tempted (and able) to spend more money on the side.

Spend it together

Instead of buying something for yourself your partner won’t approve of, why not put the cash towards something you can use or do together.

Setting a joint goal means you’ll both be motivated to cut back on the individual secret treats. You’ll feel a lot better about a fantastic holiday or new car you can both enjoy.

Prepare for the worst

If the guilt of buying things that cost too much (or you don’t really need) is getting to you, you’ll feel even worse if something happens and you don’t have enough money to cope. Shoes and tablets don’t fix broken cars!

Say you lost your job? Or you were too sick to work? It’ll be difficult to cope if you don’t have enough cash to get you through it. Substituting your secret spending to fund emergency savings should make you feel a lot better about how you’ve used the cash.

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