70% have bought a round of drinks when they can’t afford to

Some 35 million people in the UK have felt obliged to buy a round of drinks when in fact they could not afford to, according to new research from the …

Some 35 million people in the UK have felt obliged to buy a round of drinks when in fact they could not afford to, according to new research from the Debt Advisory Centre.

Being unable to afford things appears to be something individuals do not want friends to think and they often dip into their pockets to pay for drinks to make it seem they do have the finances. It's likely then that some friends buy each other drinks when neither can afford it just to save face.

This has social impacts, with many people opting to avoid social situations because they do not want to be forced into a round.

Of everyone, women are nearly ten per cent more likely (79 per cent) to avoid unaffordable social situations than men (70 per cent).

For Brits who duck out of social events because of the cost, the most commonly avoided situations were a meal out with friends (54 per cent) and a night out in a bar or the pub (49 per cent), while work nights out also rank high (47 per cent).

Some 33 per cent do not go shopping with friends as they feel they'll be tempted to get into credit card debt with purchases and 27 per cent pass on stag or hen dos. Some 22 per cent even miss out on weddings because they cannot afford it.

Women are most likely to avoid a meal out with friends, which could be due to the convention of splitting the bill evenly. Meanwhile, men are most likely to miss a night in a bar or the pub because they feel they will be duty-bound to buy rounds.

Ian Williams of Debt Advisory Centre said: "Most of us have avoided a social situation that might have stretched our finances a bit too far. For many, this is just an occasional sacrifice we're happy to make for the sake of our wallets.

"But for some – especially those who are struggling with debt – it's a constant worry."

By James Francis

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