People in the UK sitting on £2.1bn of unused holiday money

Individuals in the UK are sitting on billions of pounds of foreign currency, according to a new report from Debenhams Personal Finance.

The average…

Individuals in the UK are sitting on billions of pounds of foreign currency, according to a new report from Debenhams Personal Finance.

The average person has almost £60 of foreign currency sat doing nothing in their homes, which adds up to a national total of £2.1 billion of unused cash.

Incredibly, the research revealed that 97 per cent of people who went abroad last year have a stash of foreign currency hidden away in their homes, with the average figure standing at £59.40.

The average traveller said they would have to come back from holiday with £84.50 before they would be inclined to change it back to sterling. This rises to £120.70 amongst those in the capital, while those in Scotland will revert the money back to pounds should they bring back £54.60. 

One in five people (19 per cent) said that they have never changed their money back, opting to simply find other ways to get rid of it. According to the survey men are much more likely to change their money back into pounds than women. 

Unsurprisingly given the geographic location of the UK, the most popular currency to have lying around is the Euro, which 69 per cent of people have stashed away in their homes. This is followed by the US Dollar (24 per cent) and Egyptian Pound (six per cent).

Head of Debenhams Personal Finance Mike Hazell said: "There is a huge amount of foreign currency lying around in UK homes just waiting to be turned back into spendable, British money. Most of us have different currencies sat in jars and drawers that we've completely forgotten about."

Holiday money could be put to effective use if it were to be reverted back to pounds. For example, it could be put towards an unwanted bill or could pay for the next holiday. Either way, the money is much better off in a bank account than it is stuffed in a drawer.

By Amy White

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