New research reveals that the financial uncertainty of 2020 means 85% of people in Scotland will change the way they manage their personal finances in the immediate and long-term future.
Credit reference agency Equifax say that although one third (34%) of Scots said 2020 brought greater financial uncertainty, 16% have entered this year feeling positive about their finances.
And 54% of those who experienced financial uncertainty in Scotland said they are now trying to be more frugal, compared to 46% of the wider UK.
Their research shows:
- 46% of residents in Scotland are trying to spend less disposable income each month
- 31% of Scots feel confident about their finances going into 2021 compared to just 19% of the UK as a whole
- 70% of 18-34-year-olds across the UK said 2020 brought them financial uncertainty, steadily decreasing across all age groups with only 11% of those aged 65 plus feeling the same
As a result, 63% of 18-34-year-olds plan to change the way they manage their money in the immediate future, with 32% starting to save or put money aside
52% of UK women compared to 38% of men who experienced financial uncertainty in 2020 said they will be more frugal in 2021
41% of UK women plan to ‘buy more things I need and less things I want’, compared to 33% of men
Lisa Hardstaff, head of customer experience at Equifax commented: ‘Our latest research suggests vital personal finance lessons have been learned in this pandemic, and more people are looking to better manage their money.
‘54% of those surveyed in Scotland said they are trying to be more frugal and it’s encouraging to see that 13% are proactively researching ways to manage their money. 19% of the region are also starting to put money aside and will be using spreadsheets and apps to help them budget.’
Despite the huge financial uncertainty of last year, the research revealed that 28% of residents in Scotland used credit less than they did in 2019. However, 14% used short-term ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ services for their online Christmas shopping.
Clare Seal, author of Real Life Money and frugality champion added: ‘One of the silver linings of last year is that as a nation we are now being more open about financial concerns and mental health issues. In fact, 8% of the region said they are proactively seeking more financial advice from family and friends.’
As the Christmas credit card bills land on people’s door mats, Equifax has a wide range of useful articles and tips in its Knowledge Centre. It also has an online budget planner that allows people to monitor their income against their outgoings, to help them take control of their finances now and in the future.
Lisa added: ‘A financial planner not only helps manage outgoings each month, it allows people to prioritise important financial commitments like mortgage payments, council tax, etc.
‘It can also help to see where money can be saved, such as unused memberships or cutting back on food bills. If we are in the Year of Frugality have a clear view of all outgoings is essential.’