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Bronzed, Buff and Broke: Holidays and Gym Last to Go When Times Get Tough

Britons rank life's luxuries in UK poll showing where we spend our spare cash and what we'd be most prepared to sacrifice to save money

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwired) -- 07/09/14 -- Brits are reluctant to give up their little - and large - luxuries, new research from Nationwide Building Society reveals.

People are potentially spending thousands of pounds a year on non-essentials like eating in restaurants, going out and alcohol. But for those who spend on these items, if they needed to save money, one in five (21%) said they would not be happy to cut back on any of their discretionary spending, while just 3% would forgo their holidays and only 4% would stop going to the gym.

The survey totted up the ten most popular indulgences and then asked those respondents who said they spend money on each of these indulgences whether they would be willing to give them up to save money. Nationwide found:

--  Only 3% would consider abandoning their holiday
--  Just 4% would stop going to the gym
--  7% would give up non-essential transport such as taxis 8% would give up
    spending on technology (apps, phones, laptops etc.)
--  17% said they would stop smoking or drinking alcohol
--  Around a fifth (19%) would give up buying new clothes and accessories
--  19% would give up snacks, drinks and shop-bought lunches during the
    working day
--  19% would give up going out (cinema, pub etc...)
--  A fifth (20%) would put a hold on playing the Lottery or gambling
--  One in five (21%) would not give up any luxuries
--  Nearly a third (30%) would give up eating out

More than half of those surveyed said they eat out in restaurants in an average month (56%), while more than four in ten (44%) enjoy going out to the cinema, pub or theatre. New clothes were the third most popular pastime, with 43% maintaining fashion was their Achilles heel, while 41% spend their money on technology - from apps and computer games to mobile phone bills, laptops and internet. Cigarettes and alcohol ranked fifth for the most popular guilty pleasure, at 38% - the same as those who play the Lottery or gamble each month.

The research shows that the average monthly spend across the areas measured was:

--  Holidays: GBP 234.64 (equating to GBP 2,816 per year)
--  Cigarettes/ alcohol: GBP 67.06 (GBP 805)
--  Eating out: GBP 56.42 (GBP 677)
--  Clothes: GBP 49.34 (GBP 592)
--  Going out: GBP 44.23 (GBP 531)
--  Food/ drink: GBP 43.99 (GBP 528)
--  Technology: GBP 41.58 (GBP 499)
--  Gym: GBP 35.29 (GBP 423)
--  Non-essential travel: GBP 31.66 (GBP 380)
--  Lottery/ gambling: GBP 28.34 (GBP 340)

Total: GBP 633 (GBP 7,591)

Graham Pilkington, Nationwide's director for banking, general insurance and protection & investments, said: "We all love our little luxuries, but it is interesting to see how unwilling we are to let them go, even if we feel we need to save some cash. It may be that people don't quite realise how much money is going on their discretionary spending - for those people looking to tighten their belts it's worth adding up their non-essential spending to see their monthly totals. Even cutting just a portion of this and saving it; perhaps using the new impulse saver feature on our mobile banking app - could help them build up a sizeable pot of cash over the year."

Notes to editors:

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,398 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20th - 21th March 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+)

Nationwide's saving app:

Nationwide Building Society recently launched an updated version of its top rated mobile banking app, introducing two new innovative features: Quick Balance and Impulse Saver. These opt-in features are the first of their kind in the UK and allow customers to manage their money in a faster, easier and more engaging way.

Quick Balance allows customers to see their account balance at a glance without logging in, helping members keep on top of their finances anytime, anywhere and at the touch of a button.

The unique Impulse Saver, allows customers to transfer pre-configured amounts from their current account(s) to their savings account(s) with a couple of taps, without logging in, encouraging customers to regularly save small amounts.

About Nationwide Building Society:

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in branch, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 15,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

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