The UK went into lockdown on 23 March in attempt to control the spread of the current coronavirus pandemic. These movement restrictions have resulted in millions of Brits working from home and only leaving the house to exercise once a day, or to buy food and medical supplies such as face masks.
The flip-side of this challenging social isolation is the monetary savings that many workers are making by not having to commute to their offices and not being able to spend money on leisure activities.
We decided to find out just how much the average Brit is saving on their usual weekly expenditure.
How much are Brits saving by not socialising and working from home?
Brits are each saving an average of £54.67 per week on leisure activities and a further £44.78 per week by working from home (which includes not having to pay for commuting or work lunches).
This equates to a total saving of £99.45 per person per week. Extrapolating those figures to the wider UK population means that Brits are making a staggering collective saving of £4.6 billion for each week of the lockdown. Given that the lockdown has lasted for three full weeks so far, that makes a running savings total of £13.8 billion.
Percentage that will save
Total savings per week
Average savings over 3 weeks
Total savings over 3 weeks
How do the generations differ?
Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are recognising the highest cost savings by working from home and not being able to socialise. This group of 20 and 30-somethings is pocketing an extra £125.51 per week, made up of £70.35 saved by not going out and £55.16 saved by not having to go into work,
Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) records the next highest weekly savings of £99.87, followed by Generation Z (born after 1996) with £97.83.
Next up are the baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) who are saving a respectable £73.55 during each week they’re in lockdown. Unsurprisingly, the silent generation (born between 1928 and 1945, and therefore most likely to be retired), register the lowest savings amount of £65.32.
Londoners are saving the most cash during the lockdown, at an average of £124.13 per week, possibly reflecting the capital’s high commuting and socialising costs.
Other UK regions where workers report saving more than £100 per week are the North West, Wales and Northern Ireland.
People living in London are saving the highest weekly figure of £66.35 by not being able to do spend on any leisure activities, followed by the residents of Northern Ireland at £63.23. By working from home, Londoners are making the greatest savings of £57.78, with the Welsh in second place at £50.16.
I’m going to save money during lockdown. What should I do?
Finder’s CEO Jon Ostler answers
While everyone will be struggling with staying at home for such a prolonged period of time, we all appreciate it is a necessary step, and there are some positives to take out of the situation. If you are an employed worker, then this research shows it could be a good time to kick start your finances. Here are some ideas of ways you can use the money you’re saving wisely:
Consider stocks and shares or lifetime isa If you are willing to take a riskier option for your money, now could be a good time to put some of your savings into a stocks and shares isa. While markets like the FTSE have historically outperformed savings accounts, they have seen a steep decline in prices recently as a result of the Coronavirus disruption. This means some solid companies and funds are available at relatively low prices, although your money is at risk of decreasing with this option.
Provide a huge boost to your pension It could be a good time to invest in pensions for the same reasons as above. Also, compound interest means the amount earned on interest becomes more and more substantial as time goes by. The earlier you’re able to put a lump sum into your pension, the better, as it will grow substantially over the years until you retire.
Put your money into a savings account Putting any extra money you have kept into a savings account is a sensible choice. Ensure your current and future savings aren’t sitting in a current account without an interest rate. Even though interest rates are low at the moment, get your money to work for you and place it in a savings account with an interest rate. Alternatively, you could also keep an eye on current accounts, like with Nationwide, Natwest and RBS, that previously paid out joining bonuses. The bonuses are all on pause due the current pandemic, but they may be started up again over the next few months.
Look for better deals You could also spend some of the extra time you currently have to ensure you’re on the best possible deals for your mortgage, energy, broadband and mobile deals. By comparing providers on a comparison site like finder.com, you could find deals that save you significant amounts of money.
What to do if you’re self employed and struggling to make ends meet If you are self-employed and cannot work because your means of income has been affected by lockdown and social distancing measures, you can apply for a grant that will cover 80% of your average monthly profits up to £2,500, which will come into effect in June 2020. If you receive support from this scheme, you can continue to work, if possible. In the meantime, between now and June 2020 you can apply for Universal Credit.
For all media enquiries, please contact
Matt Mckenna UK communications manager T: +44 20 8191 8806
Finder commissioned Onepoll on 2-6 April 2020 to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+.
A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.
Charlie Barton is a publisher at Finder. He specialises in banking and investments products, including banking apps, current accounts, share-dealing platforms and stocks and shares ISAs. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics, and in his spare time enjoys long walks on the beach.
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