Find all the latest news, stories, insights and tips from Paragon Bank.

Pandemic Saving and Spending Habits

Blog - Pandemic Saving and Spending Habits hero.jpg

Survey results reveal pandemic saving and spending habits 

We recently conducted a survey of 1,000 respondents that revealed that two in five Brits are spending more money now than they did pre-pandemic.  

Despite people being keener to spend, the data showed that most savers are holding onto savings made during lockdown. While 38% were spending more than they did before the pandemic, nearly half (45%) had been able to retain all of their lockdown savings.  

Only one in five (20%) said they were spending less now than they did pre-pandemic.  

We also wanted to explore what people have been spending money on. The survey revealed some distinctive trends.  

People are spending the most on groceries, home improvements and tech  

The categories where people are spending more than before the pandemic reflected lockdown living patterns, with groceries the most popular category to attract additional expenditure - 37% of respondents reported spending more than pre-pandemic. This was followed by home improvements (28%) and technology (13%).  

The sectors worst impacted by the pandemic continue to lag behind  

However, the survey findings revealed that sectors most impacted by the pandemic continued to lag behind when it came to attracting expenditure. The areas in which people were least likely to spend money were restaurants (50% confirmed they were spending less now than pre-pandemic), pubs and bars (45%) and hotel accommodation (44%).  

On average, only 11% were spending more on restaurants, although this increased to 19% amongst the 18-34 age category. Spending in pubs and bars painted a similar picture, with 19% of 18-34 year olds spending more than they did pre-pandemic versus an 8% cross-demographic average.  

Holidays are still off the menu for many  

The survey also found that people also remained reluctant to spend money on trips abroad. Since the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in July 2021, less than a third (29%) of respondents said that they had either been on a holiday abroad or have one booked for the future. This increased to 45% of people who had been on - or were planning - a UK holiday. 

Most people are holding onto lockdown savings  

Close to three quarters of people surveyed (71%) confirmed they were able to put money aside during the pandemic due to reduced outgoings.  

The average amount saved was £1,216 during the lockdown period, although one in three said they weren’t able to save any money at all during that time.  

When asked what percentage of their pandemic savings Brits had now spent since lockdown restrictions have lifted, the average amount was 21.5% - translating to just £261of lockdown savings.  

A large segment of savers (45%) still have all of their pandemic savings, which was a trend that proved more common among older respondents. Just 29% of those aged 18-34 still had all of their pandemic savings, increasing to 37% of 35-54 year olds, and 58% of those over the aged of 55.  

Our savings director Derek Sprawling commented on the findings of the research:  

“As people start to adjust to post-lockdown living, we are seeing people adopt a fairly balanced attitude towards spending. Although many are making the most of the economy opening up again, most people are also not losing sight of good saving habits and are keeping hold of money saved during the pandemic.  

“Striking this balance between saving and spending will be key for savers as we look forward. It’s important for people to make provisions to make sure they build financial resilience and are equipped to manage a change in financial circumstance, should it happen. As part of this, people should set long-term saving goals as well as ensuring they save enough money in an emergency fund to cover three months’ worth of expenses.  

“It’s important that this account allows penalty-free access to the funds, while also offering a competitive return so savers can earn interest on their money.” 


Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551