Brits are saving £4.6bn every week they are in lockdown by not socialising and working from home, according to personal finance comparison website finder.com.
Almost nine in 10 Brits (88%) say they are saving money by not doing their usual leisure or socialising activities while the nation is in lockdown, estimating their average weekly savings to be £54.67.
Currently around 60% of the UK’s population have left the workplace to work from home and 9 in 10 (89%) believe this is reducing their expenditure. By not having to do things like commuting and buy lunch every day, the average employed worker is saving £44.78 every week.
This means that employed Brits who are currently working from home are saving an average of £99.45 each by not going into work or socialising over the next week.
With the lockdown currently lasting 3 weeks this means a total of £13.8bn will have been saved. This is an average of £164.01 saved on leisure activities and socialising per person, and £134.34 saved from those WFH across this period.
Millennials are set to save the most by cutting down on socialising and leisure activities, saving an average of £70.35 per week. Millennials who are now working from home will save £55.16, bringing the average total saving for millennials working from home to £125.51 per week. This is also higher than any other generation.
The silent generation (born between 1928 and 1945) are saving the least amount of money normally spent socialising or on leisure activities during the lockdown period. They are retaining just £33.47 each week, under half that of millennials
When it comes to regions, Londoners who are working from home are saving the most per week with an average of £124.13. On the other end of the scale, residents in the South West of England are saving the lowest amount of £83.21.
Speaking about the findings, Jon Ostler, CEO at finder.com said, “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 a stocks and share 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. Natwest is still offering a joining bonus as well, earning you £100 just to switch your main account.
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.