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How much money are you comfortable carrying?

How much money are you comfortable carrying?

Category: Money

Updated: 03/10/2017
First Published: 10/06/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

We all get a touch of nerves when making a large transaction or withdrawing a wedge of notes, but how much is too much and when do the jitters really set in?

Research by the Payments Council has found that the tipping point for when the nerves really kick in is when we have £200 in cash – or £208 to be exact – on us.

In terms of just carrying cash around with them when out and about, men keep their cash cool for an additional £65, stating they start getting nervous once they have more than £250 (or £253 precisely) in cash on them, while women start feeling anxious at over £180 (£188 exactly).

But, as more and more people have turned to online banking and online payment methods, it is perhaps unsurprising that the threshold in terms of pounds and pence that we feel comfortable transacting online is over twice as high as for cash.

Our 'panic' threshold is much higher for online transactions, with men saying they wouldn't feel nervous transferring money online until the value exceeds £600.

Women remain the more cautious of the sexes, but still more than doubled the value for online compared to offline, with £418 being the tipping point for nerves to kick in.

So what is it that really gets us financially flustered?

Almost two thirds (65%) of people say carrying a large amount of cash, while over half (55%) state withdrawing a large sum of money from a cash machine, and two in five (40%) say their nerves kick in when they have a large amount of money at home.

Our nervousness around online payment and banking seems to also focus on security and safety - one third (33%) of people get nervous about whether the computer or network they are using is secure, while 31% worry about whether they are on the authentic website and 29% are anxious about getting the account details right.

Almost one in five (18%) people state they have experienced a sudden feeling of panic when realising just how much they've been spending, followed by 16% who say they had the same feeling when typing in their PIN and 15% when responding to their card's security prompts.

"It's common to feel nervous when the true extent of your spending is revealed - whether that's checking your bank account online (as some people do daily), opening a statement, or simply seeing the total flash up when you're at the till," said Sandra Quinn of the Pay Your Way campaign.

"Luckily it's easier than ever to keep track of your finances - from online and telephone banking to mobile apps and of course your local branch."

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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.