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Feed the mind to fatten the wallet, experts advise

Date 3 Dec 2007

British households spend nearly twice as much on trips to beauty and hair salons, and snapping up the latest cosmetic and toiletry products than improving their minds by learning a new skill.

The figures come from the Office of National Statistics consumer spending survey. But the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is using the numbers to encourage people to invest more in personal development.

Alvin Hall, an independent financial expert, said: "We frequently overlook the fact that developing new skills and acquiring fresh knowledge helps us to remain valuable. We are our biggest asset, and it's natural to want to spend money on looking good, but if we invest more on training and learning too, there'll be more to spend on make up and facials! "A Learning and Skills Council study revealed that half the population believes money would have the biggest positive impact on their lives. Learning a new, useful skill or enhancing those you already have is therefore one of the smartest investments to increase your worth and to earn more money."

Chris Roberts, Regional Director of LSC North East, said: "We need to let people know that if they spend a little more on education, and if eligible for funding this could be a very low investment, they could actually afford more pampering sessions. It's another great incentive for everyone to improve their skills. "It's all about taking the future into our hands and with so many ways to learn, there's something to suit everyone."

The Learning and Skills Council also found that Britons spend eight times more eating out (£78,858 million) and nearly half as much on games and toys (£16,079 million) than education.

To find out more about the LSC's offerings, visit

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