Brits waste £2,000 a year on 'impulse buys'

We would no doubt all like to think we are being careful with our money, especially given the economic uncertainty of the past few years. But if new research is to be believed, we Brits could save ourselves over £2,000 every year just by planning ahead.

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The poll of 1,000 adults by First Direct, revealed that last-minute spending can easily tot up to £43 per week with women (unsurprisingly) more likely to "impulse buy" than men.

Apparently many of us are guilty of picking up groceries, gifts, petrol, travel tickets and holiday essentials at the eleventh hour and, since that means we aren't always getting the best price, we're spending far more than we need.

Almost four in 10 said they did not plan the week's family meals and the inevitable rush to the nearest convenience store could cost us £446 extra each year.

Meanwhile 23 per cent of motorists fill up at the nearest garage - if they shopped around they could save themselves £172 a year. And an irritated 34 per cent said they regularly leave a petrol station having filled up, only to find it cheaper elsewhere shortly afterwards.

And when it comes to travel, those last-minute air and rail tickets cost us a sizeable £988 more than they would if we'd only planned ahead.

The 30- to 44-year-olds are the worst planners, with 53 per cent confessing to being disorganised in the spending department.

We also fully expect to see plenty of you rushing to get your Christmas shopping done in time - one in five say they don't start until a fortnight before the 25th and a desperate two per cent of men will only start buying on Christmas Eve.

Richard Brown, from First Direct, told the Daily Mail: "By failing to plan ahead Britons are needlessly throwing away their hard-earned cash that could otherwise be used to add to their savings pot.

"Taking a few simple measures could save both time and money."

Are you guilty of "impulse buying" or has the recession given you a more careful approach to cash? Leave your comments below...