We're all paying the price of overspending on our summer holiday. But while we tighten our belts and rue the small fortune we spent on plastic Eiffel Towers and dubious cocktails, new research has revealed that we're also leaving £110 lying around at home in unused foreign currency.
Peer-to-peer lender, Zopa has found that on average we have £110.45 lying neglected in drawers and jars around the house. That works out as a shocking total of £3 billion. Only 13% of people said they exchanged their holiday money when they returned from their travels - with 16% saying they kept it in their wallet until the next time they were abroad.
And this isn't just money from this year, 66% of people admitted to hoarding two or more different unspent currencies in their home. Euros topped the list, with 79% of holiday makers holding on to spare Euros, and 43% harbouring US dollars.
The company urged people to change any money back that they could, and put it to work by saving it until next summer. Alternatively, you could use it to close the gap in the budget at the end of September caused by holiday excess.
Research consistently shows that we're hoarding all sorts of unused items at home that we could be turning into ready cash. The Money Advice Service recently discovered we're sitting on around £107 worth of unused internet purchases which we hadn't got round to returning or selling on. Some 59% of online shoppers said they were less likely to return items purchased online. Of these, 83% said it was 'too much hassle', 13% said they 'tend to forget', while one in ten (9%) said they simply don't have the time.
The Co-Operative Bank found that if you add in all the items you bought and used briefly, then discarded, the total would be closer to £5,000. It claimed the average UK resident has £2,813 worth of clutter gathering dust in the attic, £886 worth stored in the garage, £500 in the shed, £585 in the spare room, £328 in the hall cupboard, and £299 under the stairs.
And Lloyds revealed last year that we're sitting on an average of £14.15 in loose change. The research revealed that one in ten people have between £50 and £100 in coins tucked away in jars, drawers and cubbyholes in the car.
It's food for thought for anyone who is planning to fall back on borrowing to help the money last to the end of the month. If you cash the lot in, it could not just sort your cash flow for this year, but pay for next year's summer holiday too.
Top leftover holiday currencies:
1. Euros – 79%
2. US dollars – 43%
3. Canadian dollars / Swiss Francs – 7%
4. Australian dollars – 6%
5. Thai Baht – 5%
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