Approved – 15 December 2009

One in three young people admit to drink-fuelled spending

One in three young people (34%) say they’ve spent more on evenings out than they originally set out to this year as a result of consuming alcohol, according to research released today by insolvency trade body R3.

And R3 is highlighting the potential impact that drink-fuelled spending on items such as luxury drinks and spontaneous meals could have on the long-term debt levels amongst this age group.

The new research, which looks at alcohol-induced spending among 18-24 year olds during 2009, also finds that one in eight young people (13%) have woken up without remembering how much they’ve spent the night before and almost one in five (18%) admit to thinking ‘who cares about money – I’ll deal with it another day!’

The research finds that over the last twelve months:

    • 34% of 18-24 year olds have, after a few drinks, ended up spending more money than they originally set out to spend;  
    • 24% have ended up buying food or going out to eat even though they didn’t originally intend to;
    • 20% have bought more expensive drinks than they usually would do (e.g. cocktails or champagne);
    • 18% admit to thinking ‘who cares about money – I’ll deal with it another day!’; 
    • 17% have drawn out more cash than they would have done if they had not had a drink;
    • 13% have woken up without remembering how much they spent the night before;
    • 5% say they have woken up to find receipts for things they didn’t remember buying.   

R3’s research shows that young people are more likely than people in older age groups to have done most of these things, with incidence rates tending to be higher among people who already struggle with their debts.    

Peter Sargent, R3 President, says:  “In the run up to Christmas, ‘drink spending’ can have long-term consequences on your finances, however harmless it seems at the time. 

“We know that getting into debt is one of the biggest fears young people have, and avoiding drink-fuelled spending can help people to stay in control of their money.

“Whilst we don’t want to dampen the Christmas mood, if people of any age feel their spending is starting to get out of control, it’s very important that they seek professional advice as soon as possible.”

R3 have pulled together a five-point plan to help avoid drink-fuelled spending in the festive season:

  • Work out how many evenings out you have planned before Christmas and allocate how much you plan to spend on each. 
  • If the number of evenings out you have planned means you’ll spend more than you’re earning, cut down and cancel. 
  • Before you go out, draw out a set amount of cash that you can afford to spend and use that as your total budget for the evening.
  • Pay in cash rather than cards so you can keep track of your spending.
  • If you believe you’re getting into trouble with your debts, seek help as soon as you can.

For further information please contact:
Julian Christopher, Footprint Public Relations – m: 07891 005034
Will Black, R3 Communications Manager
t: 020 7566 4215  m: 07917 422 485  e:

Esme Harwood, R3 Policy officer
t: 020 7566 4220  m: 07887 843518  e:

Notes to editors:

  • R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals, and is made up of 97% of the UK ’s Insolvency Practitioners from all over the UK . R3 stands for ‘Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal’ and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.
  • R3 comments on a wide variety of personal and corporate insolvency issues. Please contact the press office, or see for further information.
  • R3 promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled businesses.  Our members work in preventing insolvency and turnaround, as well as formal insolvency procedures.  All R3 members are regulated by one of nine recognised professional bodies.
  • GfK NOP interviewed 965 adults 18+ by telephone in the UK between the 27th -29th November 2009.  Data has been weighted to bring it in line with national profiles.  The figures above relate to people aged 18-24.
  • According to press reports, The Youth Future Fears UK survey, which was commissioned by Community Service Volunteers, asked 1,220 young people between the ages of 16 and 25 what they were most anxious about for the future.  Debt emerged as the biggest average fear, with 48% ranking it highly among their concerns. Young anxious about debt, crime and unemployment | Society | Society Guardian