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Treat yourself! Britain’s growing leisure spend

January 31, 2018

A large proportion of our income every month will go towards the essentials, like our mortgage, our energy bills, food shopping and other household expenses, so when there is some left over, it’s nice to treat ourselves to a few extras. 

Whether it’s a spa escape with friends or a mid-week meal out, just how much do us Brits spend on treating ourselves and how do we compare to our European neighbours? Hotel linen provider, Shortridge Laundry has looked into this…

Eating out

In 2016, eating out was recorded as the most popular leisure activity in the UK, with 85% of UK consumer spending going on going out to eat in the first quarter of 2016.

On average, Brits eat out twice a week, spending £44 per week in total. Those aged between 18 and 29 spend double this figure, racking up £88 per week in restaurant bills per week, or £352 per month. I can totally relate to this, I remember before children going out for dinner lots, now it’s changed slightly!

The Spanish eat out more regularly than we do, with a total food and beverage market worth of $133 billion. Italy, Germany and France follow behind. 

Hotel stays

New research from Point A Hotels has shown that the typical Brit will spend £62,000 on a total of 378 different hotel stays during their lifetime. When broken down on a night-by-night basis, Brits will spend an average of £52 per night on a hotel. This suggests that budget and mid-range hotels are most popular in the UK.

However, it’s a different story for Swiss travellers. According to a report by Kayak, 72% of Swiss travellers will book a luxury hotel.


After a long week looking after two little ones, pampering is always on my mind. Whether it’s heading to a spa or impulse buying some new makeup, how much do Brits spend on beauty each year?

According to research by, the average Brit will spend £4,454 on beautifying themselves, including haircuts, makeup, gym memberships, clothes and beauty treatments. However, this figure varies by region — in Leeds, the beauty spend climbs to £7,000 per year, while in London it stands at £6,300.

According to 2014 statistics, European consumers spend €129 on cosmetic products per year. Norway has the highest average cosmetics spend, nearing €250. While these figures seem relatively low, they do not take into account other expenses such as spa and beauty treatments. More recently, it was recorded that the cosmetics industry was the top-performing category in the UK Health and Beauty sector – sales were up £100m from 2015-2017.

The little extras

Aside from eating out, enjoying hotel stays and spending money on making ourselves look beautiful, there are a few little extras that add up to big spending over the year too.

Buying clothes

Despite the popular opinion that women love to shop, recent research in the UK revealed that it was men who spent the most on clothes. On average, men spend £100 on clothes, compared to women who spend £74. The survey also showed that men are better at investing in their clothing whereas women have more garments in their wardrobe that they don’t wear. All in all, the average Brit spends £1,042 on clothes each year.

Looking across Europe, it was found that Estonia spent the highest percentage of their household consumption expenditure on clothing and footwear at 6.7%. Not far behind is Italy with 6.3% and the UK with 5.7%.

Spending time at the cinema

Although staying in to watch our favourite films is becoming more popular, we do still treat ourselves to a trip to the cinema now and then.

Globally, in 2015, expenditure at the cinema added up to between $38 and $40 billion (£29m – £31m). In the UK in particular, it was found that we only spend around £19 per head annually on the cinema – apparently it is the high cost of cinema tickets that deters us. It’s not surprising then that we only head to the cinema 2.6 times per year in the UK, with the French going 3.3 times per year.


What is your end of the month treat?

Sarah x


*This is a sponsored post*

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