A third of women go shopping to cheer themselves up, survey finds

41% of women often feel guilty about their purchases afterwards


One in three women admit to shopping to make themselves feel happier, a survey has found.

Some 33% of women surveyed for Leeds Building Society said they sometimes shop to cheer themselves up when they are feeling downbeat, compared with one in seven (14%) men.

But this mood boost appears to be generally short-lived, with two-fifths (41%) of women often feeling guilty about their purchases compared with less than a quarter (23%) of men.

Despite their pangs of buyers' remorse, 13% of people will not bother taking an item back if they later decide they do not like it.

Nearly a third (30%) of people describe themselves as "spenders", the survey of 1,000 people from across the UK found.

A quarter (25%) go shopping at least once a week to buy non-essential items.

Of those surveyed who have an overdraft facility, more than half (52%) use it every month, with one in five (21%) admitting they always max it out.

The findings come at a time when concerns have been raised that some households may be relying too heavily on credit to fund their spending, leaving them at risk of an income shock if their circumstances suddenly change.

Recent reports have pointed to people feeling the squeeze from rising living costs and low wage growth.

Leeds Building Society has teamed up with consultant psychologist Dr Frank Ryan, to provide tips for those struggling to save.

He suggests someone could think about occasions when they have bought non-essentials and ask themselves how long the good feeling lasted for.

They could also consider how they felt the last time they bought something they could not really afford, for example whether they felt tired and stressed or happy and excited. They could then use this information to think ahead and plan for a situation where they might be at "high risk", Dr Ryan suggests.

Making decisions in advance about what to buy before going shopping, and making a list, could be another way to buy only what is needed, he said.

Richard Fearon, chief commercial officer at Leeds Building Society said: "It's interesting to see just how many people impulse-buy and use shopping as a way of cheering themselves up when they're feeling low, despite it often making them feel guilty afterwards."

Leeds Building Society has further tips for how spenders can develop better savings habits online.