Over 40% of people have less money compared to pre Covid

Over 40% of people have less money compared to pre Covid as rising energy costs and inflation drive financial frugality – research reveals

32% will spend less on a holiday in 2022 and just over 1 in 5 are worried about their job security

Toluna’s Global Consumer Barometer Study is a regular index that taps into a community panel of 36+ million members to provide accurate and timely information on the world’s current perceptions. The latest wave of research surveyed 1,066 people in the UK.

less money

Key findings

Since the pandemic began nearly two years ago, our finances have suffered and continue to as rising energy costs, inflation, and increased household bills heavily impact how we spend our money and where.

  • Out of those surveyed, 44% of people in the UK said they have less money than pre-Covid
  • Over a third (37%) of respondents stated that they’re not confident about spending money over the coming months
  • Employment worries remain with 21% of people across the UK worried about the security of their job

This tsunami of financial worry has affected both long-term and short-term spending behaviours.

  • Tellingly, over half of those questioned (54%) said that they choose a new brand, product, or service based on the price or cost of it.
  • Only 14% made their purchase decision based on it being better for the environment or more sustainable.

Looking back at Christmas 2021, financial struggles weighed heavily on people’s minds.

  • Nearly half (48%) of people surveyed were concerned about being able to afford Christmas
  • One in ten of respondents were extremely concerned about being able to afford Christmas
  • 38% of people used credit to afford Christmas, and a third of respondents (33%) stated that their financial situation has changed since previous years so they spent less on Christmas gift shopping in 2021

The year ahead: financial worry continues to dominate spending choices

  • 49% of people in the UK said the current economic instability, rising living costs, and increased inflation influenced their spending at Christmas
  • 57% of respondents stated that rising energy costs are impacting their spending decisions for both smaller day-to-day purchases and larger-scale purchases. For example, 32% of people said they will spend less on a holiday in 2022. A third (33%) said they plan to spend less on going out to eat this year.

Lucia Juliano, Head of Research UK & NL, Toluna said, “It’s clear that we’re living with the long-lasting impact of Covid-induced repeated lockdowns, ongoing restrictions, and uncertainty around the economy. Couple this with rising energy costs, inflation, and other household bills, and you have a perfect storm of financial worry and uncertainty. Despite the Covid situation easing once again, with restaurants, pubs, and cafes open and running as normal and international travel made easier and more manageable, the appetite to spend money on such activities is a lot weaker than before Covid. As the cost of living rises, people are choosing to spend less and save more, with insecurity around personal finances remaining high.”