Many have saved thousands in lockdown as a result of changing spending habits

House deposits, new cars and paying off debts are now in reach

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 2:58 pm

As lockdown living leads us to reassess much of our lives, new research suggests it may have created a permanent change in spending habits.

The research commissioned by SMARTY Mobile reveals that 70 per cent of the nation claim to have been able to save since the first lockdown began – and 69 per cent even setting aside up to £10,000.

Four fifths (80 per cent) have managed to cut back on not eating out at restaurants – with 55 per cent saving up to £250 as a result. The closing of non-essential shops has also allowed 79 per cent of people to stash away an average of £76, and less pennies on pints has helped over two thirds (64 per cent) cut back an average of £70 on their spending since lockdown began.

House deposits, new cars and paying off debts are now in reach

A lack of commuting (57 per cent), buying coffee or lunch out (61 per cent) and trips to beauty salons (50 per cent) are other ways in which we have boosted our bank balances.

More than half (56 per cent) say time at home has allowed them to be savvier spenders, with many claiming priorities when shopping now include transparency and honesty (77 per cent), taking time to find the best deals (62 per cent) and flexibility (44 per cent). Over a third (35 per cent) have even said that during the pandemic they no longer want to be tied into any long-term purchases.

As the nation looks to the future, the top post-pandemic purchases include holidays (42 per cent), a new car (20 per cent) and even looking to put a deposit down for a house (16 per cent) – with one in four (26 per cent) aged 18 to 24 saying they have earmarked lockdown savings for investing in their future home.

The new findings also suggest our attitude to spending appears to be changing permanently, with over two thirds (67 per cent) admitting they have become a savvier spender since the first lockdown and eight out of 10 (82 per cent) saying they’ll be frugal with their finances in future. Almost half (49 per cent) claim they wish they could have saved more during lockdown.

Despite this, food shopping (41 per cent), household bills (26 per cent), streaming services (19 per cent) and online clothes shopping (16 per cent) are all areas where spending has in fact increased during lockdown. Five per cent of those polled even said they’re spending more money on their pets.

The nation’s top post-lockdown spending changes:

Spending less on unnecessary items (49%)

Shopping around for best deals (39%)

Eating out in restaurants less and cooking more at home (32%)

Taking own lunch into work (28%)

Scrutinising bills (26%)

Not going to pub (23%)

Not buying coffee out (20%)

Opting for at home DIY beauty kits (15%)

Quitting the gym (9%)

Seeing friends less (8%)

The UK’s top lockdown savings:

Not eating out (£82) – 80%

Clothes shopping (£76) – 79%

Nights out (£70) – 64%

Not commuting (£52) – 57%

Not spending money on lunch (£42) – 61%

Not going out for brunch (£36) – 51%

DIY beauty treatments (£34) – 50%

Taxis (£32) – 46%

Shopping around for better deals (£28) – 43%

Gym membership (£27) – 34%