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Brits get more joy from family and finances than relationships in COVID-19 pandemic

Abigail Fenton
·2-min read
Over 12,500 people seek help for problem debt each week in the UK. (Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
More Brits get joy from financial security than their partner or spouse right now. Photo: Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/Sipa USA

While the COVID-19 lockdown has made Brits appreciate the joys of family and helped many of them save financially, it may not be good news for the nation’s couples, research suggests.

In a poll of over 1,500 UK adults, by Hitachi Personal Finance, three in 10 said they have found joy in their extended family more than anything else in 2020, while just one in 10 (11%) said the same about their partner or spouse.

What’s more, a higher number — about 14% — said financial security has been their biggest joy in lockdown, compared to those who said their partner or spouse has. This could be good news for the 8% whose biggest lockdown joy was saving money on commuting and socialising.

The top five things that bring Brits happiness in 2020

  1. Spending time with extended family (30%)

  2. Financial security (14%)

  3. Spending time with partner/ spouse (11%)

  4. Travelling with family/ friends (7%)

  5. Being able to treat myself and buy whatever I want (6%)

“Figures point towards more responsible spending habits as restrictions prevailed. Consumers continued to pay down their credit card bills during lockdown as credit card balances fell by 12.6% in the year to May, while overall card spending in the UK was down 39% year-on-year,” said Vincent Reboul at Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance.

“This could suggest that many have used the past few months as an opportunity to re-evaluate their financial situation and place greater emphasis on financial security.”

The UK may be a nation of animal lovers, with over half of households owning a pet, but only 5% of people said animals and pets bring them the most joy — a surprising figure, as Google Trends data shows searches for “pets for adoption” skyrocketed by 248% when the country went into lockdown.

READ MORE: Brits spending £600m to pamper pets, study finds

The study also found that while there are some silver linings to be found from lockdown — such as commute savings and more personal time — one in 10 Brits don’t know what makes them happy in everyday life at all in 2020.