Most residents in the South East have a best friend and although that person may change over time, the cost of having a best mate amounts to a staggering £24,597 over a lifetime, new research from TopCashback.co.uk, the UK’s most generous cashback site, reveals.
During a lifespan, South East residents spend an average of £4,479 on birthday presents for their closest mate, including splashing out on the big ones.
A third (33 per cent) of people say they have really gone to town on their friends 30th birthday and similar momentous ages (for example their 21st birthday).
But it does not stop there as life-milestones also leave pockets empty. When a chum decides to set up home, residents shell out £112 on house-warming gifts and helping them move.
Weddings and children are even more costly; a whopping £432 is spent on celebrating closest friend’s nuptials and £263 when they have a child.
The survey of more than 300 South East residents found that other expenditures include helping a pal through break-ups (£168) and small gifts to show them how much they are appreciated (£228).
Separating for University, work or families, friends are scattered across the country or even the world. With an average annual travel cost of £291, this could mean residents face spending up to £18,915 on keeping a friendship going.
The research also reveals that more than half (51 per cent) of South East residents have up to three best friends, meaning it could cost up to £73,791 to maintain close friendships over a lifetime.
It seems South East residents are happy to fork out for their friendships with the majority (88 per cent) saying their relationships are worth more than the money they have spent.
However, this could be because residents think they are getting a better deal as 14 per cent say they think their friend has spent more money on them than they have on that friend.
Resentment may bubble under the surface though, as more than one in 20 admit to begrudging spending the amount of money they have on their friendship. Sadly, six per cent think they would have more friends if they spent more money on them.
Natasha Rachel Smith, Consumer Affairs Editor for TopCashback.co.uk said: “Those friendships which stand the test of time are often the most important in our life; however, they come at a cost.
“From train tickets once a month to flights and a new dress for a wedding on the Italian coast, the price paid for having a best mate can soon add up.
“However, when we asked residents in the South East to compare their friendship to the monetary investment, only 11 per cent thought their friendship was equal to their investment with the majority thinking it was worth more.
“Despite being happy to make such an investment, shopping around for the best deals and earning cashback where possible allows for costs to be reduced without compromising on a friendship.
“Equally friends can sometimes make you money, lots of companies, including TopCashback, have a friend referral scheme which means you earn from them sign-up up to a service or offer.”
On average residents of the South East tend to have a particular best pal for 20 years and therefore spend around £8,091 on that friend in that time.
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