Mhairi Ruddy, associate director, acquisition finance, North, Clydesdale Bank

Mhairi Ruddy, associate director, acquisition finance, North, Clydesdale Bank

CV-19 has impacted us all. It has changed the way we go about our lives, from the way we work to the way we socialise. For many, it has been a time of reflection to consider what we value and how we want to live our lives going forward. But how has the pandemic impacted our relationship with money?

Virgin Money has commissioned a report with BritainThinks that looks at people’s views about money during this crucial time.

Some of the key areas covered in the report include:

Who has needed help the most?

Industry statistics show 1.2m customers have been granted mortgage holidays and 1.5m have been advanced some form of payment holiday on credit cards/personal loan. The report provides valuable insight into who has needed help the most:

  • 24% of those that have been furloughed have taken some form of financial assistance- compared to 15% of those still in employment
  • 21% of self employed have asked for some form of financial assistance
  • 42% of business owners have also done so
  • 22% of mortgage customers have taken some form of financial relief
  • 28% of employed people have seen a fall in income – compared to 62% of those who are self employed. Interestingly, the decline was greater for younger generations (with 4/10 of those under 55 seeing a decline in income, compared to just 2/10 of those over 55).

Priorities are changing when it comes to money

The report finds there is a greater emphasis on spending to boost happiness and on spending time with or helping others:

  • 33% agree that they will now spend more money on the hobbies and lifestyle activities that make them happy
  • Only 11% think they will ‘splash out’ once lock down is over
  • 37% have increased spending with local and independent businesses, while almost all of us (96%) say its been important to support local businesses during the pandemic.

Millennials and their money

Evidence from the study suggests the pandemic may be a turning point for Millenials when it comes to money management:

  • 58% of GenZ (18-25 year old) and 62% of Millenials (26-35 year olds) say they are thinking about money more since the outbreak of COVID19.
  • 57% of GenZ and 54% of Millenials say that the pandemic has rendered the issue of money management/finance more important to them in general
  • 66% of GenZ and 65% of Millenials said that they will be more cautious with money long term

Our relationship with money has undoubtedly changed as a result of CV-19. We are prioritising spending money on our lifestyle, recognising the importance of supporting local businesses and even younger generations are now placing more importance on money management/finances. Whether these changes persist long term remains to be seen but while there are fears of a second wave and concerns over the speed of the UK’s economic recovery, it is hard to envisage a return to life as we knew it.

For those interested in reading the full document, it can be found at the following link: https://www.virginmoneyukplc.com/resources/f0b34196-3c06-4dde-af93-bf3144aeda11/Happiness_Report_vFinal.pdf