Despite economic turbulence, for many Brits lockdown has redirected disposable income to savings, with future planning the main focus for certain groups.
The research and report, Post-Lockdown Plans, was commissioned by Paymentsense to uncover how the pandemic has changed spending habits and will influence spending after lockdown and whether consumer trends have changed following the impacts of COVID-19.
Survey reveals the lockdown 'super-savers'
On average, over a quarter of people (27%) have saved between £200 and £1,000 since lockdown began, with the average respondent saving £221.89. However, those in the 25 to 34 age bracket were the “super-savers”, with 38% having saved between £100 to £2,000 already.
Regionally, it seems that Scots have been most savvy when it comes to cutting back — people in Edinburgh have saved the most, with one in 10 managing to save between £1,000 to £2,000.
Even with furlough reducing many people's wages by 20%, the lack of leisure activities has readjusted people's attitudes to their finances, and for many working from home has seen a welcome reduction in travel expenses.
Daniel, 27, from London said: “I work in a high-end part of London and am saving at least £50 a week just on day-to-day expenses — coffee, lunch and travel. I will claim a refund on my TfL season ticket which will mean I would have saved well over £1,000 this lockdown.”
It's not just those in the capital that are benefiting from the changed circumstances of the pandemic.
Becca, a 26-year-old healthcare assistant and trainee nurse from Preston said that due to increased demand for staff, she's now being paid for her previously unpaid placements — and saved a whopping £5,000 already.
“Lockdown has made saving much easier. Rather than going on a couple of nights out a month and spending £100 each time, the money has gone into savings. I also had the opportunity to complete paid placements as a nursing student, rather than completing the hours as unpaid which is usually the norm. This has made it possible for me to put all my student finance payment into a savings account, and live off my wage instead.”
This isn't the case for all though — 22% of people admitted to not having saved any additional funds during the lockdown period, and 17% of people said they weren't planning on spending any lockdown savings on anything in particular.
Falling house prices influencing savers' behaviour
With house prices falling by 1.7% from April to May this year, prospective buyers are reassessing their saving goals during lockdown.
PaymentSense’s survey revealed younger people — aged 25 to 34 — were the most likely to be putting their new savings towards a house deposit, whereas over half of all respondents (53%) said they planned on saving their money for bigger ticket purchases, and wouldn't resume spending on clothes shopping, or trips to the pub.
Additionally, searches for “first time buyers” and “first mortgage” are at the highest level they've been in five years.
One 26-year-old respondent said: “I am choosing to spend this money on a house as I feel that I am an age where I need to invest my money into something solid for me and my daughter. I feel that I need to start prioritising my finances for the future rather than a short term gain.
“I was going to book a last minute holiday for June using some of this money. However, due to the circumstances I have decided not to travel until potentially next summer.”
With travel restrictions still in place over the world, it's those aged 45 to 54 that are desperate for a holiday, with 30% of them saying they would spend any money saved on a holiday once lockdown is over, compared to just 14% of 16 to 24 year olds who said the same.
A spokesperson from Paymentsense said: “Businesses have been facing a tremendously difficult battle under the circumstances, but as we have seen before, the British public is willing to rally around the community in tough times. The data shows what appears to be a change in attitude to the way people intend to shop following the end of lockdown, as consumers re-evaluate how and where they wish to spend in the future.”