As the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions in Britain begin to lift, we wanted to understand the impact the lockdown had on the nation’s savings habits. We researched what saving in the age of COVID-19 looks like and how savings habits have evolved during the UK lockdown.
Savings revelations in lockdown Britain
For some people, the lockdown has been an eye-opener that has made them think about their finances. A sixth of those we questioned said that before the lockdown they didn’t have any plans to save and slightly less saying they would only save for a specific purchase, and a quarter said that they saved money every month as a matter of course.
Looking back on the lockdown so far, almost half of those we spoke to told us that they wish they had saved more money, just under a third said they wouldn’t spend as much on things they don’t need in future and almost a third saying they will be more conscious of saving money.
Some people have taken a positive stance on their finances. Over three-quarters of people informed us that their attitude toward savings had changed since the lockdown, with over a sixth saying they’ve realised they can grow their savings if they put their mind to it. Almost a fifth told us they were now saving their money for a rainy day when they hadn’t previously.
Of everyone we spoke to, nearly a quarter said they grew their savings during the lockdown and felt it was rewarding to do so.
Growing your savings in extraordinary circumstances
The UK lockdown put people into varying situations, some of which have left people struggling to make ends meet, but there has been a lockdown silver lining for some people. More than half of the non-furloughed workers we spoke to said that they had saved money during the lockdown. Despite only being paid 80% of their regular salary, almost half of people furloughed during the lockdown said they had saved money during the lockdown, and impressively, just under a third of people furloughed during lockdown added to their savings.
The need for a financial safety net
The pandemic has made some people think about how they spend their money. A fifth of those we spoke to say that the lockdown helped them realise that they spent their money on unnecessary things and slightly fewer people said they realised they don’t have a financial buffer to fall back on. The situation was worse for those who were unfortunately furloughed, with almost a third of people saying the lockdown highlighted their lack of a financial safety net.
Online shopping and spending money during the lockdown
The way that we spend money in Britain has understandably changed during the lockdown. Over a third of the people we spoke to said they spent less on takeaways, over a fifth of people saying they spent less on alcohol and a tenth saying they spent less on cigarettes. At the opposite end of the spectrum, over a third of UK adults admitted to spending more on online shopping, and slightly more admitted to spending more on their food shop.
Interestingly, almost a third of the people we spoke to said that spending more time online changed their spending habits, with more than a quarter of people attributing the change to wanting to make the most of their time at home, and a quarter blaming it on boredom.
Thinking about how habits will change after the lockdown, almost a third of those we spoke to said they intend to spend less on eating out, and over a fifth of people said they would go to the pub less. On the flip side, under a sixth of people said that they don’t intend to give up their subscriptions or take away dinners and coffees. Almost a sixth of health-conscious inspirational individuals also told us that they intend to keep their gym membership going.
Improving finance knowhow during the lockdown
One of the positive outcomes of the lockdown is that just under a quarter of those we spoke to said they plan to put money into a savings account every month, and over a sixth said they want to grow their savings. Over half of people told us that they learned about financial tools, with just over a tenth of people learning more about price comparison platforms, slightly fewer learning about savings platforms or investment opportunities.
Grow your savings at raisin.co.uk
See how easy it is to apply for different types of savings accounts from a range of partner banks in one place by registering for a Raisin UK Account today. It’s free to register and apply for savings accounts, the whole process is deposit protected, it’s online, and you could claim a welcome bonus worth up to £100 for opening your first savings account at raisin.co.uk (terms and conditions apply).
This article may contain information about partner banks, savings accounts, rates and bonus offers which were correct at the time of publication on 4th June 2020.