59% of Europeans treat themselves every month

Nearly two-thirds of Europeans think it is a basic right to treat themselves regardless of their financial situation. 

Research by MasterCard …

Nearly two-thirds of Europeans think it is a basic right to treat themselves regardless of their financial situation. 

Research by MasterCard has discovered 59 per cent of respondents spend an average of €51 (£42.70) a month on personal purchases, despite the fact many households are struggling to make ends meet. 

More than one in five of the more than 12,000 consumers questioned admitted they know they shouldn't be spending so much on themselves, but they continue to do so.

Compared to other European countries, people in the UK are demonstrating a degree of self-restraint, typically only parting with €32 a month, which places the country eighth within Europe. Germany (€72) came out on top, followed by Italy (€58) and Belgium (€57).

UK consumers are also the most likely to feel guilty about treating themselves – 25 per cent admitted to pangs of regret. In terms of why individuals make such buys, cheering themselves up (36 per cent) emerged as the most likely reason, followed by the fact it is the weekend (26 per cent) and they want to celebrate (24.6 per cent). 

Independent financial expert Alvin Hall, who hosted the BBC show Your Money Or Your Life, said the research has made it clear how people feel like they should be allowed to splash the cash occasionally. 

He added it is perfectly natural for people to experience guilt after such purchases, as they know the money could have been used more practically, such as building up an emergency fund. 

Jennifer Palmer from MasterCard remarked: "Economic pressures in recent times have had a profound effect on our attitudes towards treating ourselves and our nearest and dearest. 

"Across the board one thing is clear though: high or low value treats are a fundamental part of people’s lives and bring them a small sense joy and constancy, particularly in the current economic climate."

By James Francis 

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