Manners don't cost a thing

14 February 2019

New research reveals Brits are anxious about their money manners

  • Three-quarters of Brits are concerned about committing a financial faux pas, with ‘taking too long to pay someone back’ called out as the biggest sin
  • Relationships of all kinds may be ruined by money mishaps: a fifth of people have lost friends over arguments about money, and 15 per cent of us have rejected a second date because our potential love interest failed to pay or offer to pay on the first date
  • More than half of us would prefer to ask someone their age over their income, and over a quarter would sooner reveal our weight than our wage
  • Money-sharing app Pingit has teamed up with etiquette coach Jo Bryant to help Brits sidestep the dreaded financial faux pas

Britain has long been viewed as a bastion of good manners and new research conducted by money sharing app Pingit reveals that whilst some believe manners are slipping, us Brits are still concerned about appearing polite where cash is concerned. A whopping three-quarters (75 per cent) of people say they are worried about committing a financial faux pas or appearing ill-mannered when it comes to money.

As a nation, we consider the biggest money mistake to be ‘taking too long to pay someone back’ (50 per cent). However, on average each adult is owed £74 by their friends and family.

Other frowned-upon cash clangers include not paying a fair share of the bill (47 per cent) and bragging about salaries (41 per cent).

What’s more, our money mistakes could lead to ruined relationships. One in eight (15 per cent) Brits have rejected a second date because their potential love interest failed to pay or offer to pay on the first date whilst one in ten (10 per cent) left a date early to avoid paying the bill. Nearly a fifth (19 per cent) have also lost a friend because of arguments about money.

The research results also cast doubt on the country’s love affair with decadent displays of wealth on social media. Instead of admiring people with lavish lifestyles displayed in this way, a third (33 per cent) of those surveyed are just annoyed by it.

The research shone a light on just how worried people are about committing a financial faux pas: over half of us (52 per cent) would rather ask others their age than their income. Nearly as many people (45 per cent) prefer to overpay our share of a bill than risk looking ‘cheap’ and over a quarter (27 per cent) are more inclined to reveal our weight instead of our salary.

However, the concerns about making a cash clanger are not unfounded, as nearly a fifth (17 per cent) of us admit to committing a financial faux pas. More than half (56 per cent) of those whose manners failed them when it came to money felt either guilt or embarrassment and, when asked why, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) said it was because they pride themselves on being polite.

To help alleviate the awkward moments, one in ten (11 per cent) would love a modern etiquette guide on money whilst a similar proportion (8 per cent) say having a ‘money mediator’ to help solve their financial feuds would lessen the aggression.

Pingit has now teamed up with etiquette expert Jo Bryant to help people navigate their way through these money minefields with their friends and family.

Etiquette and British Manners Expert Jo Bryant said: “Money can be a manners minefield. The best advice I can give is be as generous as you can, don’t show off and always be fair with friends and family when splitting bills for meals or holidays. Apps like Pingit are great ways of avoiding difficult conversations and ensuring everyone pays what they owe.”

The findings were released by Pingit, an app that facilitates easy peer-to-peer payments with just a mobile number. With features such as bill-splitting for 20 people, it’s one example of the technology that 13 per cent of us wish for to help remove some tensions around the touchy topic of money.

Darren Foulds, Managing Director of Pingit, said: “The research shows that talking about and handling money can still be tricky in social situations – with people losing mates and dates because of it. With three-quarters of Brits worrying about committing a financial faux pas, it’s clear that any way to help us sidestep common money mistakes would be welcome. Apps like Pingit, offering easy ways to split the bill and pay back loved ones, can offer a simple solution to stop the stress."

Research polling 2,000 people in the UK, conducted by One Poll from the 4th – 5th February 2019

About Pingit

Pingit is a mobile payment service that lets you send and receive money using just your mobile phone number. If you are aged 16 or over all you need is the Pingit app, a UK bank account and a UK registered mobile phone number. It's powered by Barclays, but you don't need to be a Barclays account holder to use Pingit. It's quick, free and totally secure.


About Barclays

Barclays is a transatlantic consumer and wholesale bank with global reach, offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in our two home markets of the UK and the US.

With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs approximately 82,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.