Vain Brits turn to credit to keep up appearances
Forty per cent of Brits use their credit card to make themselves look good by buying beauty and grooming products, according to new research from Confused.com.
When it comes to looking good, more than one in ten (11%) Brits regard fake tan as an essential expense.
Surprisingly, many men see image-enhancing purchases as something they can't live without. For instance, 14% of men say waxing is an essential part of their grooming regime.
Across the regions, 10% of men surveyed from London say Botox treatment is a vital part of looking good.
Meanwhile, 22% of men in the West Midlands believe a fake tan is a crucial part of sprucing themselves up - the highest of any region. In Wales, 23% of men surveyed say eyebrow shaping is an essential part of their grooming regime.
From the findings it appears image is everything for adults - 60% have bought clothing using their credit card, the most popular credit card purchase, while 28% have bought jewellery.
When it comes to who influences their appearance, almost a fifth (18%) of adults say celebrities affect the way they choose their look.
But it is not just superstars that have a sway over people's image. More than one in ten (12%) people say reality TV personalities from programmes such as Made in Chelsea or The Only Way is Essex influence their appearance.
Overall, Kate Middleton is the most popular celebrity icon for women - 21% of females say they would like to look like her. Cheryl Cole came in second place (18%), while Kate's sister Pippa Middleton received 5% of the vote.
As well as using a credit card to obtain the perfect look, 28% of Brits polled spend on credit cards to treat themselves. Shockingly, more than one in ten (11%) believe spending on a credit card is easy money.
Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at Confused.com, said: "Our survey suggests many Brits are using their credit cards to power an aspirational lifestyle fuelled by celebrity culture.
"A third (35%) of adults say they are spending more than they can afford this year, and it seems many are turning to credit when they haven't got the cash or just fancy indulging themselves.
"All this spending has got to come at a price, however. We would urge people to think carefully about what's essential versus what's desirable when it comes to using their cards for buying things such as fake tan.
"People should ensure they have a solid plan in place for paying back any debt, and if anyone is struggling, they can speak to a specialist debt advice organisation such as Citizens Advice."
Who uses plastic more?
Londoners are the biggest spenders on their credit cards - 10% spend up to £1000 each month
More people in the East Midlands make medium-sized purchases on their credit cards - 21% spend up to £500
People in the North West are most likely to make smaller purchases on their credit cards - 15% spend £10 or less each month
44% of Londoners have been spending more than they can afford so far this year, compared to the national average of 35%
Women are more likely to spend on their credit cards because they haven't got the cash at the time - 41% compared with 31% of men
Men are more likely to make bigger purchases on their credit cards - 9% spend up to £1000 each month on their credit card, compared with 5% of women
Men are marginally better at paying off their debts than women - 11% failed to pay anything off their credit card last month, compared with 14% of women