Rise of YOLO living

Rise of YOLO livingYOLO. You Only Live Once.

What became a battle cry for millennials ahead of committing foolish acts immortalised in YouTube videos is becoming a new way to view our relationship with money.

New research from the Money Advice Service has found more and more Brits are now using ‘YOLO’ as a reason to spend money without thinking about the future.

Money Advice Service found around five million unplanned purchases are now happening on a typical day, justified with the phrase ‘You Only Live Once’.

These unplanned purchases total more than £167 million spent daily on impulsive buys.

They estimate that around 15 million people in Britain have made one of these YOLO purchases during this year. This figure has increased by 158% since 2012.

YOLO purchases are most likely to happen on or just after payday, usually as a way in which to reward or cheer ourselves up.

Impulsive purchases are likely to include buying clothes, eating out, ordering a takeaway, buying the latest gadgets, or booking a holiday.

One unfortunate consequence of YOLO spending is a rise in credit card debt; one in four of those surveyed said they most pay for their impulsive spending using debt.

One in ten Brits said their YOLO spending has resulted in debt of an average of £293.

Looking at the gender divide, women are more likely than men to splash out to make themselves feel happy or treat the children.

Women also tend to make a YOLO purchase when they see a special offer, sale or deal.

Men, on the other hand, are three times more likely to make a YOLO purchase after drinking alcohol and almost twice as likely as women to ‘YOLO buy’ after a good day at work.

They are also two times more prone to making YOLO purchases to keep up with friends and have the latest trendy item but prefer to pay for this on a credit card.

Although men and women make equal amounts of YOLO purchases, the way they feel about them afterwards is quite different.

Men are more likely to forget about it and are less likely to feel regret.

Yet women are more likely to buy something they don’t need and realise they couldn’t afford it afterwards (10% versus 8%).

Worryingly close to four in 10 Brits agree with the statement “there’s no point worrying about the future because you only live once” and a further 70% say they will spend money whenever they feel like it.

Does YOLO spending feature in your Financial Plan?


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About Martin Bamford

Martin Bamford is a Chartered Financial Planner, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional and published personal finance author. He works with elderly clients to provide advice on funding residential care fees, hosts the Informed Choice Podcast and is a keen ultra runner.
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