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Peer pressure causes two thirds of Brits to overspend

Written by: Danielle Levy
Close to two thirds of Brits spend money or lead a certain lifestyle as a result of social pressure, even though this acts a barrier to financial security, research has shown.

A study carried out by YouGov on behalf of pension and investment company Aegon revealed many people feel like their finances control their life. As a result, they feel unable to achieve their financial goals and to respond to financial unpredictability.

Around 34% of the sample said peer pressure to lead a certain lifestyle or to spend money to keep up with friends acted as a barrier to their financial security.

Meanwhile, 26% felt under pressure from everyday bills and general living costs. This may help to explain why 27% believed they were underprepared in the event of a financial emergency.

A quarter of respondents also felt they received a lack of support from the government and those around them to assist with childcare costs or care commitments for children and elderly family. This, in turn, acts as a barrier to their financial security.

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “While ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ may not be a new development, the prevalence of social media may have made it a greater pressure to many more people at all life stages, and could well be holding people back from being able to plan for a financially secure future.

“Whatever the cause of financial pressures, the starting point to resolving this may be to seek expert help on how best to manage money and it’s important that individuals know where they can turn to for support on issues standing in the way of a sounder financial future.”

He believes employers have a role to play when it comes to offering financial education in the workplace. For example, topics like budgeting, managing money and clearing debt could be covered.

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