Homeowners in the North West spend up to £110,000 in a lifetime on products that may never be used in a bid to keep up with the Joneses, new research reveals.
Nearly a quarter of average-earning adults in the region waste £2,750 each year on “totally unnecessary” items to impress potential partners, friends and neighbours.
They splash out £229-a-month on the latest clothes, beauty products, and must-have gadgets that are “openly flaunted” whenever possible.
Homes in the region are decked out with fashionable soft furnishings, DIY tools are showcased in the garage, and bookshelves are stocked with novels to demonstrate “cultural superiority”.
Trendy outdoor furniture, meanwhile, is exhibited in the garden in case a neighbour happens to peep “over the fence”.
On a nationwide scale, homeowners generally spend up to £1,000 per year on so-called ‘poser purchases’ that are rarely used and were never really needed.
After going on show for “just the right amount of time”, the majority of these goods are left to gather dust in the attic with only a fraction being sold or donated to charity.
But 24 per cent of residents in the North West will fork out nearly three times the national average to keep up appearances, according to a nationwide study.
In the course of a 40-year ‘spending lifetime’, between the ages of 25 and 65, this equates to £110,000 – the same price as a supercar, a luxury yacht, or a typical two-bedroom apartment in the region.
Homeowners in Bristol and the South West topped the list of ‘Britain’s Flashiest Homeowners’.
The study was conducted by Moneymagpie.com to mark the first National Clear Your Clutter Day next month, on March 19, when homeowners will be persuaded to rid their homes of excess stuff.
Jasmine Birtles, the founder of Moneymagpie.com, said the findings reveal the nation’s secret spending habits for the first time - and reflect an increasingly throwaway society.
The TV pundit and consumer journalist said: “The results of this study reflect a growing – and potentially worrying – trend among modern Britons to buy totally unnecessary goods just to look good.
“Most people will indulge themselves now and then, often with a motive of impressing one’s colleagues or potential partner. This is normal and to be expected.
“But it is astonishing that some people are spending so much money over the course of a lifetime on perfectly good and usable items that will simply rot in a spare room.
“It is even more difficult to understand why these people are not trying to claw back some of the money – and space – by selling old goods and decluttering their lives, particularly when they can do it so easily on trade-in sites like Ziffit.com.”
Nearly one-in-three (29 per cent) people keep unused items “in case they come in handy in the future”, while 37 per cent throw them away, 16 per cent donate to charity shops, and 18 sell them, presumably online.
Britain’s Flashiest Homeowners, who waste the most money keeping up with the Joneses’, are found in:
1. Bristol and the South West - £120,000pa
2. London and the South East – £118,000pa
3. Manchester and the North West – £110,000pa
4. Birmingham and the Midlands – £108,000pa
5. Newcastle and the North East - £102,000pa
6. Wales - £96,000pa