New Virgin Money data shows spending on experiences soared during spring

Virgin Money
Virgin Money
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
10 August 2023

According to customer data from Virgin Money, people have been making the most of the longer days and spending more on eating out and holidays between March and May 2023, compared to the previous year.

While it’s no surprise that spending has gone up in 2023, with inflation remaining high over the last nine months, there has been a marked increase in non-essential and lifestyle spending – which shows that people are feeling more confident this summer.

The figures – the first in a new series of seasonal customer spend trends from Virgin Money – show customers spent a total of £928 million on lifestyle spend this spring, including eating out, holidays, fashion, wellbeing, entertainment, keeping fit and staying away. This is up 19% from £777 million for spring 2022. The number of transactions relating to lifestyle spending also increased year on year, rising 16% between spring 2022 and spring 2023.

Virgin Money
Virgin Money

With travel back to normal after a bumpy few years due to the pandemic, spending on holidays has increased by 40% from £98.2 million in March to May 2022 to £137.6 million in March to May 2023. All age groups showed an increase in spending year on year, but it’s the 18 to 25 age group that showed the biggest increase, spending 60% more on holidays this year, compared to spring 2022. Customers aged between 46 and 55 showed a 40% increase, spending a total of £30.2 million, while those aged between 56 and 65 spent the most on holidays this spring – a total of £35.9 million, up by 39% on spring 2022.

The additional bank holidays and May celebrations – including King Charles’ coronation – had a positive impact on the food and drink sector, with spend on eating out up 20% in spring 2023, compared to the previous year. In spite of increased pressure on consumers from higher prices and rising interest rates, customers spent £278.3 million dining out between March and May 2023, up from £231.7 million in 2022.

Ruth Brougham, head of digital banking at Virgin Money, said “Our customers chose to spend more on lifestyle this spring, with eating out and holidays seeing the biggest increases from last year, as they value sharing experiences with friends and family.

“We understand times remain tough for many people at the moment, and we continue to provide our customers with tools to help them manage their budget in a way that works for them so that they can make the most of their money – both now and in the future.”

Don’t forget that Virgin Red members can earn Virgin Points on their everyday spending – including eating out, holidays with Virgin Atlantic Holidays, stays at Virgin Hotels and more. Not a Virgin Red member yet? Join today and start earning Virgin Points.