Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Sex toys, alcohol and even a house are some of the purchases consumers admit to keeping hidden from their loved ones – something almost one in three (30%) Brits says they do, according to new research.

The UK’s leading savings website, commissioned the study of 2,000 UK adults[1] to discover the nation’s secret spending behaviours and finds that Gen Z is most likely to spend their money in secret, with almost two thirds (61%) admitting their habit. On average they fork out £82 per week on items that they keep hidden, double the national average (£40). London is the UK’s secret spending capital with almost two in five (38%) in the city owning up to their untold purchases.

While presents and clothing are the most common items bought in secret (both 11%), food and alcohol (8% and 7% respectively) also rank as common secret buys, proving that we may be a nation of secret snackers. On the more risqué side, sex toys and pornography also made the list, while one respondent even admitted they bought a house without their family knowing.


Top 5 secret items purchased in the UK

  Item %
1 Presents 11%
2 Clothes 11%
3 Food 8%
4 Alcohol 7%
5 Shoes 7%


When asked why they keep their spending secret, the most common reasons include feeling like they shouldn’t have to explain how they spend their money (19%), and because they feel judgement from others over their spending (18%). Some simply like the excitement, with over one in 10 (11%) admitting they secretly splurge due to the thrill of it.

It also appears that lockdown has affected consumers’ ability to spend in secret, with a quarter (25%) saying they’ve made fewer purchases since working from home, and 18% saying they’ve found it hard to splurge whilst spending more time in their homes. With over one in 10 Brits (13%) struggling to receive their usual volume of secret purchases due to not being in the office, many are finding their way round this by sending deliveries to a neighbour or friend to keep them a secret (11%).

The study also reveals that more than one in 10 (12%) have credit cards their nearest and dearest don’t know about.

Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at, commented: “We all may know of someone who has bought the odd item without telling their loved ones, but our study threw up some very interesting – and in some cases unexpected – responses. It’s surprising to see that almost a third of the nation has admitted to this, and even more shocking that the majority of these secret spenders are Gen Z. It’s worth instilling good spending habits at a young age, as it’s never too early to start saving money, and these habits will stay with you through life.

“Although many admitted to keeping their purchases secret due to the ‘thrill of it’, make sure you don’t get carried away as it can be easy to lose track of your spending. It’s also a good ideal to shop around for the best deal on your purchases regardless of whether you own up to spending or not!”


For further information on how to keep your secret spending under control, visit:



Tags from the story
More from Emma Norman
What to drink now: Laura Whitmore’s Virtual Dinner Party Tips for Grey Goose
Agree a theme. I love a themed occasion – it provides endless...
Read More
0 replies on “TOYING WITH THE TRUTH”