Guilt driving up debt

According to Lloyds TSB premier American Express credit card, failure to consider gifts as part of a debt management plan is costing £736 million each year.

“Life can be stressful and leaving things to the last minute can not only make you feel guilty but cost you a lot more money as you try to rebuild your tarnished reputation,” said Colin Walsh, credit card director at Lloyds TSB.

In the survey, the average price of a birthday present is £121.26, but a present after a forgotten opportunity pushes this up by 14 per cent to £138.

Even leaving the gift to the last minute drives up the average cost to £136.80, showing the need for gifts, like other finances, to form a part of any good debt management plan.

Gladeana McMahon, one of the UK’s leading life coaches, added: “Quite often, it’s tempting to try and put things right by overcompensating – perhaps by spending more money.”

However, she said that this can add to financial and social stress and did not recommend it.

track