Shopping: Leos are extravagant, Pisceans love browsing

Does astrology govern your spending habits? By Sally Williams

Do you like shopping? Ever spend money to cheer yourself up or buy something you can't afford and then lie about it? Yes? You're probably a Cancer. Or so concludes a recent survey commissioned by Barclaycall, the telephone banking service for Barclays Bank. The survey on cosmic spending habits also revealed that 58 per cent of Leos hate shopping; 66 per cent of Virgos let bills pile up while wasting money on frills; Taureans are shopaholics and Leos are conscientious bill payers.

Just why does a sober company like Barclaycall and even the Abbey National (which last year published a survey on pension horoscopes as well as a booklet for its customers entitled Your Astrological Guide to a Secure Future) consult the stars? "Markets are segmented in many ways," said Gordon Heald, Managing Director of Opinion Research Business, which conducted the survey for Barclaycall. "We've had sex, age, income, religion... The old class divisions are wearing out. Star profiling could be a new way of understanding people's motivations. For example, we found that 36 per cent of Virgos worry about money. Among Sagittarians, it's 53 per cent. That's a significant difference."

This doesn't mean, Mr Heald explained, that Sagittarians will be targetted by tranquilliser companies; or that banks will discriminate against reckless Leos in favour of prudent Aquarians, but from a marketing point of view the possibilities are endless.

Yet hang on a minute - what about the fact that astrological profiles have little to do with the way people actually are? Gloria, an administrator at the Abbey National, may consider herself a typical Aries: "I love to spend my money and everyone else's"; Tina Bennett, the Abbey National's press officer may feel her department is full of typical Leos, "All tough negotiators with expensive tastes", and the Abbey National survey may hope that "Virgos are good pension planners", but the evidence to support astrology is hardly conclusive.

All that Barclaycall could establish was that the spending habits of their respondents totally contradicted astrological predictions. Reckless Leos turned out to be sound financial managers; meticulous Virgos liked to splurge on extravagances, and so on.

"Traditional astrological profiles" states Barclaycall "have little correlation to the way people actually manage their finances". But does this trouble Gordon Rankin, Director of Personal Banking, Barclaycall? "Not at all. The horoscope angle was just a bit of fun. A way of getting people to answer questions and to present information."

Dipping into the world of glossy astrology, there's a stiff reaction to all this. "There's a lot of dodgyness around," said Elle magazine's astrologer, Bernard Fitzwalter, darkly, when asked if he thought such stunts cheapened his profession. "Astrology has become so entrenched in the lower end of the social pyramid, high astrology has suffered." He took the Barclaycall survey as a case in point. "Of course it was inconclusive, they just used the date of birth", he said, irritation mounting. "They thought that if they took 6,000 Arian shoppers, they would all be busy buying sports equipment. Any fool could see that wouldn't be true. Now, if they had taken 6,000 people all of whom had Mars rising at the time they were born, that really would mean something."

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

    salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

    Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

    Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower