Food Inflation Eats Away at Chances of Budgeting

By Virgin Money, PRNE
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Prepaidcards Could Help Ease The Financial Burden

LONDON, April 6, 2011 - The soaring cost of food is set to eat in to the nation's budget in 2011,
with 88% of people admitting they overspend on their regular supermarket
shop, research from Virgin Money ( has

Shoppers who occasionally stray from their budget were likely to
overspend by an average of GBP9.74, while those who regularly exceeded their
target budget did so by GBP11.45, the research indicated.

With food inflation in the UK at an annual rate of 4.4%** in February,
purchasing of even basic groceries is set to be unkind to our bank balances
in 2011.

Increased food prices combined with a nation tempted by luxury and
arguably unnecessary items has seen 77.3% of shoppers surveyed by Virgin
Money stray from their list of essential items.

Many people fail to budget for their supermarket shop, resulting in them
breaking their budget. Food inflation is expected to reach 5% in the near
future, meaning that the weekly shopping trip is set to become more
expensive. Experts have predicted a loaf of bread could soon cost up to

Carlie Wittred, spokesperson for Virgin Money, said: "The weekly shop can
be budgeted for in advance. However, it is easy to get sidetracked, so it is
worth using a method that ensures you can't spend beyond your means.

"Prepaidcards ( allow you
to set a budget and won't allow you to exceed that limit. With close to three
quarters of people shopping once a week and more than four in five admitting
to overspending, using a prepaid card could potentially save shoppers an
average of GBP550.68*** each year."

The survey of 2,448 adults indicated that 43.8% of women failed to set
themselves a budget, which helps explain why 36.7% regularly overspend by
anything up to GBP10.

Over 55% of men were occasionally tempted by unnecessary items such as
DVD's, with only 13.9% never exceeding their set target budget.

Virgin Money offers pay as you go or pay monthly prepaidcards.

* Research conducted by Consumer Intelligence on behalf of Virgin Money.
2,448 adults were questioned between 25-28 February 2011.

** Based on information from the Consumer Price Index- the official
measure of inflation of consumer prices in the United Kingdom.

***Average overspend = GBP9.74 (occasional overspend) + GBP11.45 (regular
overspend) = GBP21.19

GBP21.19 / 2 = GBP10.59.GBP10.59×52 = GBP550.68

About Virgin Money

- Virgin Money is Virgin's financial services arm and was established in
1995 as a joint venture between the Virgin Group and Norwich Union.

- In 1997, Virgin Direct Personal Financial Services Limited launched The
Virgin One Account, a joint venture with The Royal Bank of Scotland that
offered the UK's first current account mortgage direct to the retail market.
In 2001, RBS bought out the Virgin Group's stake in the joint venture.

- Following an investment of GBP100m of new capital by WL Ross in April
, Virgin Money is 79% owned by Virgin Group, with 21% ownership by WL

- Virgin Money currently has over 2.5 million customers and offers
Payment Cards (Credit Cards ( & Prepaid Cards), Savings
and Investment products (Stakeholder Pensions, Children's Pensions, Employers
Pensions, FTSE Tracker ISA, Bond & Gilt ISA, Climate Change ISA, Cash ISA,
and Unit Trusts), General Insurance products (Motor, Home, Travel, and Pet)
and Life Assurance products to the UK market. To apply go to

- Virgin Money's business ambition is to make "everyone better off" -
this philosophy underpins our approach to business by offering good value to
customers, treating employees well, making a positive contribution to society
and delivering a profit to shareholders.

- Virgin has signed a five-year deal to be the official sponsor of the
London Marathon, the biggest annual fundraising event in the world. The
inaugural Virgin London Marathon was on 25 April 2010. Virgin Money, the
financial services division of the Virgin Group is leading the London
Marathon sponsorship with the ambition to help runners raise GBP1/4 billion
over 5 years and will use its infrastructure, online capability and financial
expertise to deliver that through Virgin Money Giving.

- Virgin Money has signed a three-year deal to be the official sponsor of
Edinburgh's 'Fringe on the High Street'. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011
runs from 05-29 August. Tickets and information are available at

For further information: Carlie Wittred, Virgin Money, Tel:
+44(0)7801-134-500; Kevan Reilly / Chris Jarvis / Toby Clark,
CitigateDeweRogerson, Tel: +44(0)207-638-9571

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