The cost of a true friend: £26,000 over a life­time

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By JANE BRADLEY Con­sumer Af­fairs Correspondent

The cost of a great friend­ship amounts to £26,556 over a life­time, with the price of thought­ful birth­day presents, vis­its and nights out rack­ing up a huge bill, a study has claimed.

How­ever, the vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple be­lieve that their re­la­tion­ship with their best friend is worth more than the money they put into it.

The re­port found that peo­ple typ­i­cally shell out £3,498 on birth­day presents for their clos­est mate over the ourse of their re­la­tion­ship, while they spend £21,000 go­ing to visit them if they do not live in the same area.

Other ex­pen­di­tures in­clude help­ing a pal through breakups, adding up to more than £200, and small gifts to show them how much they are ap­pre­ci­ated worth £255.

The analysis by Top­cash­ found that 85 per cent of peo­ple be­lieve that their re­la­tion­ships are worth more than the money they have spent. How­ever, this could be be­cause they be­lieve they are get­ting a bet­ter deal, as more than a fifth think their friend has spent more money on them than they have.

In some cases, how­ever, re­sent­ment may bub­ble un­der the sur­face, as 7 per cent ad­mit to be­grudg­ing spend­ing the amount of money they have on their friend­ship. And sadly, 9 per cent think they would have more friends if they spent more money on them.

Abi­gail Sutton, spokes­woman for Top­cash­back. said: “Those friend­ships which stand the test of time are often the most im­por­tant in our lives; how­ever, they come at a cost. From train tick­ets once a month to flights and a new dress for a wed­ding in France, the price paid for hav­ing a best mate can soon add up.

“When we asked peo­ple to com­pare their friend­ship to the mone­tary in­vest­ment, only 13 per cent thought their friend­ship was equal to their in­vest­ment, with the ma­jor­ity think­ing it was worth much more.”

Life-mile­stones also leave pock­ets empty. When a chum de­cides to set up home, friends shell out £141 on house­warm­ing gifts and help­ing them move. And around £645 is spent while cel­e­brat­ing a clos­est friend’s nup­tials, plus £300 when they have a child.

More than half of peo­ple have up to three best friends, mean­ing it could cost as much as £79,668 to main­tain close friend­ships over a life­time.

The study took 81 years as an av­er­age life­span for men and women, as­sum­ing that best friends are formed at a young age. How­ever, on av­er­age, the study said, peo­ple tend to have a best pal for 20 years and there­fore spend around £8,651 on that friend in that time.

0 Wed­dings, chil­dren, birth­day gifts and even help­ing a friend through a break-up all cost us money

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