Two-thirds of people ‘altered spending habits during first month of lockdown’

The first month of the lockdown may have permanently changed many people’s shopping habits – with one in three saying they will be more mindful about what they buy in future, research has found.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of people say their spending habits have changed since the stricter social distancing measures were imposed on March 23.

With many people seeing their income squeezed in recent weeks, 32% will be more mindful of what they purchase in future, while 31% will cut back on non-essential spending, Nationwide Building Society found.

A quarter (25%) of people now aim to waste less food, with the same amount planning to keep a closer eye on their finances.

More than one in five (21%) will spend less going out.

Around two-fifths (39%) of people say they have spent less over the past month than usual – but around a quarter (26%) have spent more.

One in four (25%) people have made an impulse purchase after browsing online more since lockdown.

But people are not just spending on themselves – more than a third (34%) say they have donated money to charity since the lockdown measures were put in place, with the average amount donated at £41.

One in 14 (7%) people who have donated cash have given more than £100.

With more people ordering items online, Nationwide found that people have received an average of eight deliveries over the past month – potentially equating to more than 428 million lockdown deliveries across the UK.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of people have taken in more than 10 deliveries over the past month and one in 12 (8%) have received more than 20.

Nationwide’s own spending data shows that before lockdown, just under a third (29%) of all spend using a Nationwide debit card would typically be made online. However, this has since grown to 38%.

As more people manage their finances from home, the society also saw an 89% increase in the number of first-time registrations to its online bank between March 16 and April 23, compared with February 1 and March 15.

Mark Nalder, Nationwide’s head of payments service and strategy, said: “As we move into the second month of lockdown, it will be interesting to see how spending behaviour continues, with many saying that they are going to pay closer attention to their finances in future.”

Two surveys, each involving more than 2,000 people, were used for the research, alongside Nationwide’s own spending data.