British boast about bargains

Posted on November 20th, 2010 | Categories - Financial News

Extravagance is no longer held in high regard by consumers.

Britons are embracing austerity and boasting about cutting back.

More Britons show off about the bargains they have bought instead of bragging about their lavish lifestyles, according to research by price comparison website uSwitch.

The survey showed that 88% of people think it’s cool to talk about how they have cut back on spending and 96% said they take a pride in telling others about purchasing a bargain item. Only 4% of participants said they boast about spending a fortune.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, said: “In the face of economic adversity, keeping up with the Jones’ no longer means competing to have the most lavish lifestyle – it’s now about being seen to be poor and proud. While bragging about money or expensive purchases is frowned upon, boasting about nabbing a great bargain or talking about how little you earn is in keeping with the times”.

The survey also showed that just over a third of the Brits are likely to talk about how much they earn with 67% preferring to talk about how low their salary is instead. Almost 80% of people said they talk about how cheap their belongings are – only 21% said they would show off about their expensive possessions.

Ms Robinson said: “We are wearing our frugality like a badge of honour and take great pleasure in telling others about what we don’t have rather than what we do. Part of this is about being seen to fit in – we don’t want others to think that we’re getting off lightly. Instead we’re competing to make the biggest changes and cutbacks to our lifestyle – or at least that’s what we’re telling everybody else”.

The research highlights how people have adjusted to the government’s austerity measures and chosen to embrace ‘recession-chic ‘ instead of financial extravagance.