Aviva survey shows ‘invisible’ spend

A typical UK adult spends £948 a year on ‘invisible’ items such as coffees, shop-bought lunches, post-work drinks and treats for children, says a new survey commissioned by insurance company Aviva.

A study of 2,000 adults across the UK discovered that, on average, each person spends £18.23 each week on items such as takeaway food.

Over a year this adds up to £947.96 and over a lifetime, £47,398, and Aviva has extrapolated that UK adults are spending £48 billion a year on invisible items.

The research also showed that younger people were more likely to be the biggest ‘invisible spenders’, possibly because they have fewer demands on their cash and are less used to budgeting.

The average weekly amount ‘invisibly’ spent by 18- to 24-year-olds was £21.17, while 55- to 64-year-olds spent £15.54.

Rodney Prezeau, consumer platform managing director for Aviva, said: “Our study found that 26% of people don’t really keep track of their spending at all, and a further 22% only keep an eye on larger purchases, so many of us may be surprised if we actually look at where our money is going.”

The findings are based on a study of 2,000 adults across the UK carried out by ICM Research in September 2015.

The full list of ‘invisible’ items includes: snacks such a chocolate bars, fruit and crisps; shop-bought lunches; shop-bought drinks; treats for children; newspapers and magazines; alcoholic drinks outside the home; cigarettes; and takeaway food.

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