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Coronavirus: How Brits have saved hundreds of pounds in lockdown

·3-min read
Growing their own vegetables has saved some Brits a bundle  during lockdown. (Markus Spiske/Unsplash)
Growing their own vegetables has saved some Brits a bundle during lockdown. (Markus Spiske/Unsplash)

A DIY attitude has helped three quarters of Brits save hundreds of pounds during lockdown, according to a study.

A survey of 2,000 UK adults by MoneySuperMarket found 77% of Brits have saved about £477 ($598) under lockdown, often through resourceful means such as cutting their own hair, baking their own bread and growing their own vegetables.

Londoners having saved the most overall, putting away about £664 each. The capital is followed by Yorkshire and the Humber, at £512, and East Anglia, at £505.

Meanwhile, savers in Northern Ireland have stashed away the least — just £317.

READ MORE: Households saving money during lockdown, researchers find

This change is most significantly reflected in Brits’ diets. Nearly a quarter (23%) of Brits said they had stopped buying from takeaways during lockdown.

One in five (18%) switched out brand name products for supermarkets’ own, and began cooking in bulk.

And one in 10 baked their own bread instead of buying it (11%), grew their own vegetables (10%) and shopped at cheaper supermarkets (10%).

Almost one in 10 (9%) Brits even said they ended up drinking less — saving them about £74 each. Seperate figures from charity Alcohol Change UK in April suggest that as many as one third of Brits are now consuming less alcohol, likely due to pubs and resturants being closed.

READ MORE: People flocking to Premium Bonds as savings rates tumble, analysis finds

However, Brits found other ways to save, too. With salons being closed until at least 10 July, nearly a fifth of Brits (19%) said they’d taken to cutting their own hair — saving about £35 each.

And with gyms set to be closed until October, more than one in 10 (12%) Brits have also saved by cancelling — or being refunded — their gym membership.

One 10 Brits has also turned to selling unwanted items online to make some extra cash.

Consolidation of existing debts has saved Brits about £112, while Brits that chose to register their vehicle as “off the road” using a statutory off road notification (SORN) have saved £118.

READ MORE: Should you open a joint savings account?

The survey found more than one in 10 (12%) Brits have even been able to save over £1,000.

However, men have saved more, on average, than women — about £535, compared with £421.

Half of Brits attributed their ability to save under lockdown to reduced outgoings such as commuting and childcare.

Nearly a third (29%) have saved to build a rainy day fund; a quarter because they’re anxious about their future; one in five (19%) for a holiday; 13% to pay off debts; and 6% so they can help their children pay off their bills.

READ MORE: How saving £3 per day could double your State Pension

Lockdown might even lead to a permanent change in Brits’ spending habits, the results of the survey suggest.

Nine in 10 respondants said they will carry on growing their own vegetables (88%) and shopping at cheaper supermarkets (91%) once lockdown has ended.

Four in five (82%) said they will carry on baking their own bread, and two in five (42%) Brits even said they will carry on cutting their own hair.

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