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Buy now, lie later

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06/06/2007

New research from Halifax Home Insurance reveals a quarter of Britons (8.5 million) chose to ‘Buy Now, Lie Later’ over the last year, deliberately hiding the true cost of purchases from their partners or family.

These secret spending Britons distorted the true cost of purchasing items by an average of £772 each over the last twelve months. Nationally, this equates to a massive £6.5 billion annual deficit between the actual and the reported costs of purchases.

A quarter of Britons have lied to their loved ones about the real cost of  purchases made in the last year. These ‘Buy Now, Lie Later’ Britons misrepresented the price of goods purchased to partners and family members by £6.5 billion.

Women are most likely to lie about the real price of clothes and shoes, while men lie most about the cost of their boy’s toys.

Vicky Emmott, senior manager of underwriting at Halifax Home Insurance, said:

“Men and women are divided when it comes to their secret spending.  While women return from shopping trips pretending they have secured a bargain price for their Manolos and Jimmy Choos, men hide the price of stereos and plasma televisions.”       

“Because of this secret spending, householders could find the contents in their home are underinsured if the person responsible for organising the policy is unaware of the true cost of items in the property.  Homeowners can seek to avoid this problem by purchasing unlimited contents insurance for their property.  However, they will have to own up to the real cost of the items when claiming on their insurance policy.” 

Halifax Home Insurance’s research found that while women like to be seen as fashionistas, many don’t want their loved ones to find out how much they paid to achieve their perfect look.  Over three quarters (80%) of women that lied about the true cost of a purchase in the last year did so about the price of clothes and a further 41% of women hid the real price of their shoe purchases.  Like the movie Mr & Mrs Smith, it seems millions of Britons are hiding secrets from their partners.

Men are most likely to stretch the truth about their boys’ toys, with 41% lying about the price of electronic equipment, such as a Playstation 3 or iPod.  And like their female counterparts a third of men (33%) also hid the true cost of items of clothing.  

Half (51%) of all people hid the real price of their purchases because they didn’t want to be seen as frivolous with their money.  An additional 34% of those stretching the truth did so because they wanted their partner to think they had secured a bargain.  Almost two million Britons did not want to tell their loved ones how much they paid for items purchased because they were scared of their reaction.  One-in-ten Britons felt so embarrassed that they’d paid over the odds for an item that they lied to their partner to save face.  Britons also pretend they have not made purchases, until incriminating evidence such as receipts, price tags and credit card statements are found by their partners.

People living in the Greater London area most likely to ‘Buy Now, Lie Later’; 30% of respondents in this area said they’d lied to their partner or family in the last year about the real cost of items they have purchased.  Those living in the Midlands are least likely (17%) to be dishonest with their loved ones about the true price of their purchases. 

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