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Sunday, 21 May 2017 15:06

UK spends more online than any other country

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We’re always going on about how important it is to save money and cut back on unnecessary spending.

We often give advice about making savings on food and clothing and give some tips on what to do when you’re at the supermarket and BOGOF offers are luring you in and enticing you with ‘deals’.

If latest figures released a couple of weeks ago are to be believed, however, we need to do more to drill it into people that the same money saving logic should be utilised when shopping online too.

According to a report by the UK Cards Association, households in Britain spend more purchasing things online than any other country in the world – and it is by a fair margin. This could explain why many of the UK’s famous high street stores are struggling and town centres are looking more and more like ghost towns.

The trouble with buying things online is that you sometimes cannot gauge accurately just how much money has been spent and how many items have been bought.

Think about it, if you are sat behind a computer screen and just have your plastic credit card to hand you can see how easy it would be to splurge and have a shopping spree. You can’t see the amount of bags you’re carrying; everything is electronic so there is no real concept of how much you’ve ordered – and more importantly, spent.

The report from the association showed that last year card spending in the UK averaged over £400million per day, this was an increase of nearly 30 per cent on 2014’s online spending.

The figure is so high because literally everything is purchased online now. Whether it be food shopping, clothing and holiday bookings.

We believe that because it is so easy to make purchases online, however, and because it doesn’t feel real because there isn’t anything to carry or walk away with, it can be ever so easy to get into money trouble. A lot of the time people don’t actually know how much they’ve spent online until the credit card bill comes through at the end of the month.

This is no way to live and is quite a dangerous way to manage finances. We’re not for one minute saying people should stop using the internet as a means to do shopping, we live in the 21st century and appreciate and understand that online shopping is a great way to avoid crowds and a great way to get things ordered when time is restricted, all we ask is that you try online purchasing with the same caution as you would do if you were paying with cash on the high street.

If you had a set amount of cash to spend at a clothes shop you would have to stop purchasing when that money ran out – unfortunately, because of the internet and the availability of credit cards, you don’t have to stop and if other things take your fancy you can easily buy them without a second thought.

The society that we live in is a far cry from the one that our parents were probably brought up in. Our parents were taught that if they couldn’t afford something, they couldn’t have it, but because of the plastic credit card we can have whatever we want and deal with the consequences at a later date. We’re not sure if this is creating a society of greed.

Ultimately all we are trying to say is exercise caution when purchasing anything online – if you absolutely know you can afford to pay things off when the time comes, that’s fine, but as with anything, don’t buy anything unless you can afford to pay for it. The internet is your friend but only when you use it wisely.

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