With the government encouraging the nation to stay home, 4.7 million Brits have used the time to socially distance themselves from their debt, according to a new study.
The research from leading savings site VoucherCodes.co.uk reveals how the nation’s savings habits have changed since lockdown came into effect and investigates the feelings surrounding people’s financial situation during these uncertain times.
The findings show a decrease in the proportion of UK adults who currently say they are in debt, compared to those who did prior to social distancing measures being introduced. Excluding mortgages, those who are currently in debt dropped from 50% to 41%, equating to 4.7 million fewer Brits.
Despite news of holidays being cancelled and restaurants and bars closing their doors, 2.5 million people say they actually feel happy they can use lockdown to repay – fully or partially – their existing debt.
Since lockdown began on 23rd March, nearly half of Brits (47%) said that they save more each week – £27.30 on average, equating to £109.20 per month. Additionally, over half (58%) of people are saving up to £200 more per month and 8% saving £400 and over.
While these extra savings have led to 15% of people feeling positive about their current financial situation, two in five (40%) still admit to feeling anxious about their finances. Naturally, for those who have been made redundant in the past month, this figure is much higher at 54%. Understandably there’s a similar picture amongst those who are currently furloughed, of whom 49% confessed to feeling anxieties around their finances.
Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at VoucherCodes.co.uk, commented: “While social distancing measures have drastically changed life as we know it, it’s encouraging to see that many people are actually seeing an improvement in their financial situation as a result. Whether that’s saving an extra £50 a week or taking this opportunity to pay back any existing debt, it’s great to see a positive change in people’s attitudes towards their finances.
“The decline in the number of people who are in debt since lockdown measures came into place is also promising. If you’re looking for achievable ways to save money during this time, simple ways to start include setting a weekly budget, and cancelling any subscriptions you no longer need. Finally, by being conscious to shop around and make use of discounts, you’ll be sure to get the best deals available, and the little savings will quickly add up.”