• Filipinos unable to track 42% of weekly expenses

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    Filipino consumers are unable to account for 42 percent of their average weekly expenses, financial services firm Visa said, underscoring the need for closer monitoring of budgets.

    According to a regional survey carried out by international market research firm YouGov for Visa, Filipinos fork out an average of P2,416 per week but lose track of P1,010 due to “mystery spending.”

    This means that more than P54,000 is unaccounted for per year, Visa said, a substantial amount.

    Mystery spending, Visa explained, is different from misplaced or stolen cash – it is about the consumer being unsure of where the money had been spent.

    The survey said 70 percent of Filipino respondents believed their mystery spending went into the purchase of snacks, well above the regional average of only 45 percent.

    Filipinos said their mystery expenses likely also went to shopping for non-essential items (49 percent), shopping for food and groceries (46 percent), dining out with family and friends (33 percent), paying for entertainment (nights-out, movies, parties), lunch and coffee breaks (30 percent each); and paying for taxis, tolls and parking fees (24 percent).

    Stuart Tomlinson, Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam, said the survey highlighted the likelihood of financial setbacks arising from continued mystery spending.

    “It also tells us that Filipino consumers need to closely monitor their budget to better manage their finances,” he said.

    Among the 14 Asian markets covered in the study, Hong Kong had the biggest weekly estimated expenses of $113.03 and the biggest mystery spend at an average of $58.39 weekly.

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