Back to September 2020

We’re making fewer impulse buys and saving more as lockdown changes our view of thrift

More of us are gaining satisfaction from being thrifty with our cash as we buy fewer treats and stick to budgets more closely than before the pandemic.

According to a national survey for Leeds Building Society, 38% of people are saving more than they were before coronavirus – with a quarter planning to continue putting more aside in future.

To help them save more, 48% of those surveyed are making fewer impulse buys, 27% are sticking to a budget, 42% have cut-back on treats for them and their families and 78% are going out less.

When asked what had made them happy during lockdown, 1 in 7 people said the act of being thrifty and making their money go further.

Leeds Building Society carried out the survey* as part of its Lockdown Learnings – a national research series exploring how people’s attitudes to their homes, and their behaviour and preferences have changed since the start of the pandemic.

Almost half of those saving more said they wanted to build up a safety net (45%), while big ticket items like cars and holidays abroad are now less of a savings priority than before lockdown.

This back to basics approach is also reflected in lifestyle changes with a third saying they have started or rediscovered a hobby, which 9 out of 10 plan to continue. They are enjoying more arts and crafts such as painting, knitting and needlework (27%), more exercise (24%) and gardening and vegetable growing (17%).

“When so much in life at present is even more unpredictable than usual, it’s not surprising many people are taking a more active role in managing their money, and it’s interesting to see how saving priorities have shifted as a result of the pandemic,” says Matt Bartle, Leeds Building Society’s Director of Products.

“We were created as a business by people who believed in the value of thrift and the benefits this could bring and 145 years later helping our members save remains a key part of our core purpose.

“Research, as well as insight from our members, helps us to shape our product range to ensure we can continue to help people to reach their savings goals.”


Notes to Editors

*A UK survey sought the views of 948 people at the end of August 2020.

Leeds Building Society has received a Gold Ribbon from Fairer Finance for savings accounts for the third year running, based on customer happiness and trust, along with the ability to explain things clearly.

The Society operates throughout the UK and had assets of £20.5bn at 30 June 2020 (£20.7bn at 30 June 2019). The UK’s fifth-largest mutual has its head office in the centre of Leeds, where it has been based since 1886.