How Brits are Coping with Rising Living Costs

As the cost of living continues to soar, millions in the UK are turning to quick fixes like buy now, pay later schemes. Here, we worked with Hodge Bank to analyse data in order to reveal how this impacts consumer spending and saving habits.

The data reveals nearly half (47%) of Brits are setting aside funds throughout the year for special occasions and holidays. However, a third (33%) of the population prefer to live in the moment, spending their money as soon as they earn it.

Many of those who use buy now, pay later schemes say it helps them to manage expenses, with 16% saying it helps to have the payments spread out, 14% use it for convenience, and 11% admit to using it to buy the larger items that they couldn’t spend the money on outright.

Despite this, a good portion of people in the UK remain committed to traditional saving habits, with 7 in 10 (77%) stashing away their extra cash in preparation for Christmas and New Year celebrations, 40% saving for birthdays and nearly a third (30%) setting aside money for anniversaries.

Christie Cook, managing director of retail at Hodge said:

“Although buy now, pay later deals may sound like an easy option, they can come with some issues including higher interest rates, hidden fees, potential overspending, and impacting credit scores if not managed responsibly.

“Understandably the cost of living is high, but there are ways to make some extra cash, even selling old clothes online could help the pennies add up in a savings account.

“The current average on a 1-year fixed rate ISA is 4.68%, with some sitting at 4.96%, meaning you gain up to £5 on every £100 you save.”

The UK’s top spending priorities

OccasionPercentage of people in the UK (%)
Weddings (as a guest)18%
New Year’s Day13%

It’s clear Brits are struggling with cost, hence why some are opting for payment plans to afford life’s luxuries such as holidays, concerts and furniture. 

The data from this study revealed that 80% of Brits were most concerned about the increase in energy prices, 72% are worried about everyday costs and 61% are struggling with rising inflation.

Although concerns about the rising cost of living have eased slightly, it continues to impact over three quarters (76%) of people in the UK. 

Biggest money worries in the UK

Cost of living concernsPeople in the UK (%)
Energy prices80%
Cost of everyday items73%
Rising inflation61%
Fuel prices52%
The effect on pension/retirement income32%

Christie Cook, managing director of retail at Hodge, said: “Over the past few years, the UK has faced economic uncertainty, making financial planning a challenge. 

“It’s evident Brits are actively taking steps to manage their finances amidst these challenges with the majority reducing their electricity usage to cut back on costs. 

“Additionally, nearly half (49%) of the UK population are preparing for their future by setting aside money in emergency savings.  

“Others are choosing to enjoy their money by saving for a holiday, while more than 4 in 10 (46%) are dipping into their savings. 

“With fluctuating interest rates on savings accounts, it’s understandable that consumers aren’t staying loyal to their bank.  

“More than half (54%) of individuals say they would consider moving their savings if they found a more competitive rate.” 

Sophia Anderson

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on money, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development.