Britons no longer embarrassed by debt
A recent report has suggested that Britons are no longer embarrassed to reveal personal details about their finances, despite their reserved reputation.
According to price comparison website uSwitch, more than a third of Britons are happy to reveal their salary to their friends and family, while a quarter would not mind sharing and discussing the current state of their finances, including any debts they have.
Additionally, 92% say that they are comfortable shopping at what are deemed ‘budget’ shops, while a surprising 87% have no problem purchasing second-hand goods.
The report reveals a significant shift in general attitudes toward debt and money. In the past, mentioning your salary or financial restrictions was viewed as a sign of vulgarity. When it came to finances, people were expected to ’keep mum’ about their debt.
Moreover, the report stated that 33% of Britons feel there is no shame in having debt, while 18% no longer feel that bankruptcy should be embarrassing, a view which has been reflected in UK spending and borrowing data.
This change of attitude towards financial matters has given pawnbrokers a much-welcomed boost in sales, with one in five Britons more likely to pawn their belongings because of the loss of stigma in doing so. According to uSwitch, one popular British pawnbroker chain reported a 71% increase in profits in September 2010. That being said, 31% of Britons still consider visiting a pawnbroker as a last resort.
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, explains the current attitude change: ‘Some may see it as a sign of shamelessness, but for many Brits it’s a case of desperate times calling for desperate measures.’
She added, ‘however, whereas in the past we would have kept quiet about the steps we’re taking, today our attitudes towards discussing how we stay afloat have relaxed considerably.’