3.6 million Brits worry about paying bills

1 Sep, 2020

The economic impact of the coronavirus crisis has been far reaching with millions of people unable to work due to lockdown restrictions.  New research shows that nearly a third (31%) of UK adults have seen their income cut as a direct result of the crisis.

The research, commissioned by GoCompare Money, reveals that 8% of people are seriously worried about their future, with 7% concerned that they won’t be able to pay their bills.   Almost 1 in 10 are worried about losing their job.

Faced with economic uncertainty, most (71%) Brits have tried to find ways to reduce their monthly outgoings.  Popular tactics people have used to save money involve finding ways to buy the same products for less, either by swapping branded goods for supermarket own-brands or by downshifting supermarket, and making the most out of loyalty schemes, cashback offers and other discounts.

Collectively, the nation’s money saving tactics could have netted up to £3.5bn a month.  The average monthly saving is £95 but just over a fifth (21%) estimate they have reduced their monthly outgoings by more than £100.

Rank Money saving tactic used %
1. Bought supermarket/shop own-brand label goods 27
2. Cut down on take-away meals 27
3. Used loyalty and cashback schemes, vouchers, coupons, and apps 19
4. Downshifted to a cheaper supermarket 11
5. Drew-up a budget 11
6. Cancelled subscriptions for goods and services 10
7. Switched to a cheaper energy deal 9
8. Switched energy supplier 8
9. Cancelled gym or leisure club membership 8
10. Bought second-hand items rather than new ones 7

The financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic has changed many people’s attitudes to money, 13% said they now think more carefully about their finances.

Commenting on the research, Lee Griffin, founder and CEO of GoCompare said, “While the coronavirus is primarily a health crisis, lockdown measures have had far reaching economic consequences, with millions unable to work and living on reduced incomes.  The resulting economic slump has officially pushed the UK into recession and, with the winding down of the Government’s furlough scheme along with ongoing restrictions, further redundancies are likely if businesses are forced to close or downsize.

“Our research shows that many people are worried about their jobs and financial security, and have used their time in lockdown to take a fresh look at their finances to find ways to make their money go further.  Whether it’s reducing grocery bills, cutting take-outs or cancelling subscription services, people are embracing a wide range of money saving tactics.