Saving during lockdown: the results are in

by Leeds Building Society

When lockdown was announced in March, it changed the nation’s way of life overnight. Many people stopped commuting, restaurants and shops were closed and supermarket trips became less frequent – to name just a few changes.

We’ve already looked at how lockdown changed the way we think about our homes. But how has it affected our attitudes towards budgeting, saving and spending?

Staying in is the new going out

As part of our lockdown learnings series, we surveyed 948 people to see how the pandemic has affected their spending and saving habits¹. We found that 38% of people are saving more than they were before coronavirus, with a quarter planning to continue putting more aside in future².

Unsurprisingly, 78% said they’re saving money by going out less, and 42% have cut back on treats for themselves and their families³.

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Budgeting more, buying less

The pandemic has caused disruption to the shopping experience due to closures, social distancing measures, changes to opening times and capacity restrictions. This all seems to have affected spending habits, with 48% making fewer impulse buys and 27% sticking to a budget³.

For some, cutting back on spending has been a positive experience – 14% said being thrifty and making their money go further made them happy during lockdown⁴.

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Savings goals

So what are people doing with the money they’ve saved? The results showed that 45% of those who have been saving more are using it to build a safety net. However, we found that big ticket items like cars and holidays abroad are now less of a savings priority than before lockdown⁵.

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Christmas plans

Social distancing measures and the ongoing uncertainty could impact Christmas shopping this year. So we ran a special Christmas poll to see how it’s affecting our members’ plans.

Some wanted to get a head start this year, with 14% having already bought presents, and a further 20% planning to buy them earlier than usual. However, this wasn’t the case for everyone – over half were planning to buy their presents closer to Christmas like they normally would⁶.

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Over to you

Has the pandemic affected your spending and saving habits? Are you making a start on Christmas shopping, or buying gifts later? Head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to let us know.

 

This article is intended as summary information only. No reliance should be placed on this article.

 

¹ Based on a survey undertaken in August 2020. 442 members were surveyed by Leeds Building Society via our customer panel ‘TalkingPoint’. A further 506 participants from the general public were surveyed by Verve, a research partner.

talkingpoint.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk is a site operated by Verve Partners Limited (Company Number 6663787, whose Registered Office is situated at The Clove Building, 4 Maguire Street, London, SE1 2NQ) on behalf of Leeds Building Society.

² 948 people responded to the question “Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, are you actively saving more money than before?”

³ 948 people responded to the question “Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, have you made any of the following changes to your spending habits to enable you to save more money?”

⁴ 948 people responded to the question “What has made you happy during lockdown?”

⁵ 948 people responded to the question “Thinking about your current saving goals, which of the following are you saving for?”

⁶ Based on a survey undertaken in September 2020. 520 members were surveyed by Leeds Building Society via our customer panel ‘TalkingPoint’. They responded to the question “We’re interested to know if you’ve started to think about your Christmas shopping?”

talkingpoint.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk is a site operated by Verve Partners Limited (Company Number 6663787, whose Registered Office is situated at The Clove Building, 4 Maguire Street, London, SE1 2NQ) on behalf of Leeds Building Society.