Half of UK workers are looking to boost their financial resilience in light of the recent coronavirus pandemic.
Of these workers 54 per cent say they want to keep an closer eye on day-to-day spending in future, while 46 per cent are looking to put more into ‘emergency’ savings fund.
Around half of those surveyed by said they had already started making changes to the way they run their finances.
The recent health crisis and subsequent economic lockdown has highlighted long-standing problems when it comes to financial resilience, with many of those facing pay cuts or redundancy having little in the way of savings.
This survey was carried out by Close Brothers among employees of larger firms for its ‘Changing Trends of Financial Wellbeing’ report.
It found that while just over half of these employees said they felt “financially prepared” for the crisis, one in five (20 per cent) admitted they were unprepared, with almost one in 10 ( eight per cent) saying they were “very unprepared”.
Notably, two in five workers (40 per cent) reported increased financial anxiety in the wake of the pandemic.
However, while many have been protected by the government’s furlough scheme this crisis seems to have spurred some employees to reassess their financial priorities going forward.
But this willingness to change financial preparedness falls with income levels; just under three-in-five (57 per cent) of those earning over £50k per annum indicate a willingness to change their plans, falling to just under half of those workers earning up to £30k per annum (48 per cent).
Among those taking action to improve their financial wellbeing, the most popular changes include keeping a closer eye on day to day spending (54 per cent), saving more into an emergency savings fund (46 per cent), and writing or updating a will (19 per cent).
However some have earmarked greater pension saving as a vehicle for delivering greater financial resilience by saving more into either their workplace (11 per cent) or personal pension (13 per cent).
However, 16 per cent of workers say they will reduce the amount they save into their pensions, due to pressures on shorter term needs, despite the risk that this could affect their longer-term financial wellbeing.
Close Brothers head of financial education Jeanette Makings says: “The coronavirus crisis has brought a sharper focus on money, particularly in how prepared we are to weather unexpected financial events.
“While it’s hugely reassuring to see that over half of workers felt financially prepared, there are still a large proportion that are not, so there’s more work to be done there with individual employees and via their employers to support improved financial resilience.”
She adds: “But there are some positives messages regarding people’s changing attitudes to their own financial health with people realising they can live on less and putting the money they would otherwise have spent into savings instead, all of which bodes well for their future finances. Although we are yet to see if these changes are a permanent or temporary legacy.”
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