Would you keep it?

Would you keep it?

Here's a test of your honesty. What would you do if you found £100 in the street? Would you hand it in to Police, give it to charity, spend it on yourself....? Well, almost half of us would keep the £100 for ourselves if we found it on the street today - and over half of us would feel no guilt at pocketing the money.

It seems honesty is the last policy for cash-strapped Brits, who are stooping to new lows as the recession continues to bite. Only four in ten (38%) people said they would hand the money in to the police, significantly less than those who would hand it in to Police this time last year. Only one in twenty said they would take the decent step of donating it to a charity. 

When asked what their favourite way to spend a £100 windfall would be, a fifth of Brits said they would spend it on their family. And as hard times prompt people to find affordable ways of cheering themselves up, a further 18% of Brits would to spend it on a meal out. 

What else exactly can £100 get the light-fingered masses these days? According to the research by Alliance & Leicester, things are actually looking up for British consumers. Over half of people think £100 windfall will buy them more in 2009 than it did in 2008. 

As shops slash prices, a third of Brits believe they are getting better value. 18% believe that supermarkets are offering better deals and one in ten people say they're enjoying the benefits of the VAT cut.

What would you do with £100 if it turned up under your nose? It's a tricky question. Has the credit crunch necessarily made us a more dishonest nation? Andy Muddimer from Alliance & Leicester explains how this year's financial squeeze is affecting our money morals. He says, "With the now-prolonged effects of the credit crunch, many are now feeling even more strapped for cash than usual at this time of year. This may have had a stark effect on people's spending habits, and their morals over money compared to this time last year.

"It is good to see that the majority of people believe they are getting better value for money in 2009 compared to 2008.  It is vital that people spend their money wisely in the current economic climate, to budget their incomes and outgoings and most of all to ensure they have a current account which makes their money work hard for them with a high in-credit interest rate."

If they found £100 in the street with no one else around, people say they would:
38% - hand it in to the police
14% - put it into their savings
12% - put it towards paying off their debts
7% - spend it on food shopping
6% - treat themselves to a present
5% - give it to charity
56% - not feel guilty for keeping the money