Average Brit doubled value of savings pot since COVID hit

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·3-min read
Close up of a young woman doing her home finances in the evening
Over the course of the year, Brits spent 16% more overall with online shopping transactions soared by 80%. Photo: Getty

More than three times as much money was added to saving pots in the "year in lockdown" versus the previous year, with the average saver doubling the value of their pot.

That's according to new data from money management service Monese, which has collated data on spending habits a year on since coronavirus lockdowns began. 

Following the initial lockdown announcement, spending took a substantial dive, with the week of April 12 2020 coming out as the thriftiest week of the year. Nearly a quarter (24%) fewer pounds were paid out.

Over the course of the year, however, Brits spent 16% more overall with online shopping transactions soared by 80%.

With strict restrictions in place, the data showed that many of us turned to DIY and home décor in a bid to keep the boredom at bay, investing 184% more on tools and supplies to get our homes and gardens looking their finest. 

This increase in DIY spending saw their estimated total investment rise up to £7,458 ($10,223) per household in the last year.

READ MORE: British shoppers set to spend £600m on first day as stores reopen

Other areas where spending boomed included digital audio books, movies, and music stores (+178%); digital games stores (+168%); stationery and office supplies shops (+142%) likely to assist in our WFH efforts; car washes (+142%); and lawn & garden suppliers (+137%).

With huge amounts of both essential and non-essential shopping going online for much of 2020, courier services welcomed a significant boost in purchases, with 131% more being spent on delivery companies such as Hermes, DPD and other such couriers in order to meet rising demand. Similarly, the Post Office saw a 103% increase amongst Monese customers.

Brits also stocked up on treats and other essentials for their pets, with purchases from both pet shops (+113%) and veterinary practices (+112%) surging over the past year.

Across the nation, 51% more was also spent at the supermarket, taking the average ‘lockdown year’ total to a massive £4,868 per household.

Outside of the expected Christmas "peaks," (20th December and 6th December), the biggest annual increase in supermarket spending occurred prior to the national lockdown during the week of 1st March 2020, when 87% more was spent on groceries than during the same week in 2019.

READ MORE: Scientists warn reopening UK too fast could spur third COVID wave

The second biggest annual increase took place during the week of 15th March 2020, when 47% more money was spent at UK supermarkets, presumably as a means of stocking up on essentials due to the uncertainties that laid ahead.

With more time spent at home than ever before for most, utilities bills also grew by 69%, taking the estimated per-household cost to £2,178 this year.

Utilities spending jumped 56% year-on-year from the week of 26th April 2020 — one month after the first national lockdown began. This higher utilities cost continued for the rest of the year, suggesting that working from home is coming with a hefty cost.

While many areas saw increases, tourism, entertainment and hospitality venues were some of the hardest hit due to closures, with cinemas (-81%), theatres (-77%), tourist attractions and exhibits (-59%) and bars, clubs and pubs (-56%) all seeing a dramatic drop in spending over the year.

Norris Koppel, founder and CEO at Monese, said: “It’s reassuring that some of our customers have been able to save more though, with those using our pots feature typically doubling their ‘rainy day’ funds.

“As we start to see the end of this long tunnel of restrictions, we hope to see some return to pre-Covid spending in areas such as restaurants and bars, hotels, barbers and beauty salons and theatres and cinemas.”

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