Are you breaking the law to save money?

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Unpaid bills

New research has revealed that many Brits are willing to break to law in order to save or make a bit of extra money.

A summer approaches, so too does a UK-wide bout of the 'mid-year money blues', with 46% of Brits admitting that they feel particularly financially strained at this time of year. As a result, some of them are even prepared to break the law to save money.

According to a survey by PowerofOpinions.co.uk, many admit that they would knowingly bend or break the law in order to make a bit of extra money, with men twice as likely as women to resort to illegal measures, including shoplifting and manipulating tax returns.

The research uncovered some worryingly extreme and sometimes illegal measures Brits are resorting to in order to get by.

Respondents admitted the following:

• "Claimed something was lost in the post to get some money back"
• "Took stuff from outside a charity shop at 3 AM"
• "Well, let's say manipulated on my tax returns"
• "Driving without having a current MOT"
• "Shoplifting"
• "Fiddling with work expenses"
• "Swapping a tag on an item of clothing to make it cheaper"
• "Worked on an adult chat line"
• "Took part in a police line-up"
• "Taken toilet rolls home from work"
• "Working seven days solid with no sleep"
• "Took copper and sold it on"
• "Act as nude model for art class"

But you don't have to resort to illegal activity in order to save or make some extra money during this difficult financial period.

Some saving savvy Brits rent out a spare room or turn off lights and heating in order to save some extra cash.

Others go a little further in their quest to save money and choose to abandon personal hygiene, washing less often.

The top 18 things Brits do to earn and save a bit of extra money:

1. Filling out online surveys for money (68%)
2. Turn off lights and heating (47%)
3. Won't buy full-priced goods, only spend on a discount (30%)
4. Disregard use-by dates on food (28%)
5. Use cashback sites when shopping online (27%)
6. Won't carry cash so they physically can't spend (21%)
7. Cut their hair themselves or don't bother at all (18%)
8. Flush the toilet less often (15%)
9. Look for dropped cash on the street (15%)
10. Give themselves a 'Supermarket Sweep'-style fixed time limit when shopping (10%)
11. Forage for food instead of buying it (6%)
12. Wash less often (5%)
13. Rent out their car parking space/spare room (4%)
14. Ring friends/family and ask them to call them back (3%)
15. Reuse train tickets or buy a child instead of adult ticket (2%)
16. Go on paid clinical trials or donate sperm/plasma/eggs/hair etc (2%)
17. Sneak through train barriers right behind someone else (2%)
18. Manipulate self-service checkout tills in supermarkets (2%)

On the bright side - Brits did demonstrate that they have a sensible yet generous sentiment towards money - when asked what they would do if they were handed £10 in cash, almost equal numbers said they would invest it (32%) or spend it on others such as their partner, children or family (31%) rather than on a treat for themselves (25%).

What about you? Have you ever gone to extreme lengths in order to save money? Let us know in the comments below.

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