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It’s a gift! Treating others takes priority

20th May 2014

Presented with a modest windfall, we’re almost 50% more likely to treat a loved one than pamper ourselves, according to new research from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks.   The Banks, which are currently offering £500 cash back on a range of mortgages*, asked people what they would do with a £500 windfall – with some interesting results. 

According to the figures, tucking the money away for a rainy day was top of the list for most, and one in five would seek the sun with a holiday, where £500 would go a long way towards the average annual expenditure of £873 on overseas package holidays (source: ONS**).

Top 5 choices for £ 500 windfall

Choice %
Save 43.7
Holiday 20.1
Treat loved ones 17.5
Spend on the home 15.1
Day-to-day bills 14.3

Around 1 in 6 would treat a loved one, but just one just 1in 10 would treat themselves with the money.  Regionally, it’s the generous Geordies, with nearly one in three in the North East saying they’d treat a loved one if they came in to some money.  While in the Midlands they would sooner use the money on more practical matters, as just 1 in 10 said they’d treat a loved one or themselves.   In fact, four of the top 5 regions for treating loved ones were in the North of the country (see Editors’ Notes).

Free of many of the ties and responsibilities of their elders, younger respondents (16-24) were twice as likely as any other age group to treat themselves.
And while, women were more likely to spend a windfall on themselves than men, they are also much more likely to invest in improving their home (21.4%: 8.2%); spending on items like furniture, decorating and gardening – with £500 being a significant portion of the average £1482 annual household spend (source: ONS**).   Spending on the home was also a priority in Yorkshire more than any other region, with 1 in 5 saying that’s where the money would go.

A greater proportion of men said they would save the money than women, but they are also more likely to splash out on a holiday.
Youngsters may like to treat themselves; however they were also, along with the over 55s, the most likely to save for a rainy day.   Normally considered ‘canny’, the Scots were least likely to save a windfall (30%), whereas those in the North West (52.6%) were most likely.  Noticeably, 25-34 year olds (one in five) are twice as likely as 45-54 year olds to pay some extra money off their mortgage. 

The Banks also asked what such a windfall would be used for if moving home.  With each of the roughly 1 million housebuyers (source: HMRC**) spending around £360million each year on moving costs (source: ONS**), most, a third, said they would use the money to cover this expense.

The next most common response was ‘decorating’, with 20% saying this is where the money would be spent, and again women saw improving the home as a higher priority than men.  Each year households spend an average of almost £350 on household maintenance including wallpaper and paint (source: ONS**)
Andrew Pearce, Retail Director for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said: “Whatever the circumstances, it’s always nice to get some extra money you didn’t expect.
“Whether you’re a homemover or you’re staying put, a bit of extra money to improve your home, cover some costs, take a break, or to simply make the ones you love smile with an unexpected treat, never goes amiss. “

More information on Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks’ a range of competitive mortgages can be found at or

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