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The true cost of friendship – Infographic & Survey

11 April 2017 Data Insights

It’s good to spend time with friends, but have you ever totted up the cost of all that socialising?

Whether you’re snuggled deep in a coffee shop sofa complaining about the weather, or you’re splitting a restaurant bill that got a little out of hand, having pals hits your pocket.

We used our card payment machine data and surveyed the British public and found the cost of friendship might be higher than you might think.

Cost of Friendship Infographic

Staying in more expensive than going out

Brits spend more money on nights in with friends than going out. Meeting up at home comes in at £22.32 on average, compared to £11.81 for things like having coffee or going out for drinks – the equivalent of two pints of beer in certain parts of the country.

To add to the weekly cost, our survey also revealed that, on average, people go out with friends three times per month. At £11.81 a time, that’s a hefty £35.43 per month.
Over a year, we’re talking a staggering £425.16.

One-off costs hit hard

Sometimes, it’s the bigger occasions that make the largest dent in a person’s wallet or purse. Like going to a wedding, taking a weekend break with friends, or buying a gift for a housewarming.

In fact, over a quarter of our survey respondents stated that they buy friends housewarming gifts, and the average Brit spends £543 going on holiday with their mates. A further 31% of people spent money on their friends for no particular reason, simply because they wanted to. We’re a generous bunch, aren’t we?

Sometimes it seems people do feel the pinch of all these expenses. Over a third admitted to spending money on nights out with friends when they can’t afford to, while 1 in 20 people admittedly turned down the opportunity to go to a friend’s wedding because they wanted to save money. Don’t tell the bride!

Yorkshiremen and women love going out, Scots are homebodies

Analysing the trends across the country, Yorkshire and Scotland are at opposite ends of the spectrum when deciding how to spend with friends.

Yorkshire folk go out with friends 3.27 times per month – the highest average number anywhere in the country. Some of the region’s social butterflies even admit to going out with friends as many as 15 times every month. Lucky for some!

Our Scottish respondents preferred to stay in, with 36% claiming they have more nights in with friends than going out. The Scottish also seem to be among the most caring, with 15% treating their friends to a present to help them get through a recent break up.

Similarly, Londoners apparently bought their friends a present for no specific reason, simply because they wanted to – despite the high cost of living in the capital! We could all do with some more friends like that.

What does it all mean?

Having friends is expensive. All the data from our survey suggests you’ll be spending hundreds of pounds a year just to keep up with coffee dates and birthday presents. But then, having people there for you when you need a favour or an emotional pick-me-up is surely priceless.

How does the cost of your friendship compare against the nation? And have you seen our other recent surveys? Like the one that found 45% of Brits gave up on their New Year’s resolutions after 13 days or the one that discovered the UK’s favourite takeaway.


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