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Brits go into money-saving mode as 3.6m worry about paying bills

  • A third of Brits have experienced a drop in their income due to the COVID crisis.
  • 3.6million people are worried about not being able to pay their bills.1
  • Most households (71%) are taking action to reduce their outgoings.
  • On average, money saving tactics saving people £95 a month.

The economic impact of the coronavirus crisis has been far reaching with millions of people unable to work due to lockdown restrictions.  New research shows that nearly a third (31%) of UK adults have seen their income cut as a direct result of the crisis.

The research, commissioned by GoCompare Money, reveals that 8% of people are seriously worried about their future, with 7% concerned that they won’t be able to pay their bills.   Almost 1 in 10 are worried about losing their job.

Faced with economic uncertainty, most (71%) Brits have tried to find ways to reduce their monthly outgoings.  Popular tactics people have used to save money involve finding ways to buy the same products for less, either by swapping branded goods for supermarket own-brands or by downshifting supermarket, and making the most out of loyalty schemes, cashback offers and other discounts.

Collectively, the nation’s money saving tactics could have netted up to £3.5bn a month2.  The average monthly saving is £95 but just over a fifth (21%) estimate they have reduced their monthly outgoings by more than £100. 

Rank Money saving tactic used %
1. Bought supermarket/shop own-brand label goods 27
2. Cut down on take-away meals 27
3. Used loyalty and cashback schemes, vouchers, coupons, and apps 19
4. Downshifted to a cheaper supermarket 11
5. Drew-up a budget 11
6. Cancelled subscriptions for goods and services 10
7. Switched to a cheaper energy deal 9
8. Switched energy supplier 8
9. Cancelled gym or leisure club membership 8
10. Bought second-hand items rather than new ones 7

The financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic has changed many people’s attitudes to money, 13% said they now think more carefully about their finances.

Commenting on the research, Lee Griffin, founder and CEO of GoCompare said, “While the coronavirus is primarily a health crisis, lockdown measures have had far reaching economic consequences, with millions unable to work and living on reduced incomes.  The resulting economic slump has officially pushed the UK into recession and, with the winding down of the Government’s furlough scheme along with ongoing restrictions, further redundancies are likely if businesses are forced to close or downsize.      

“Our research shows that many people are worried about their jobs and financial security, and have used their time in lockdown to take a fresh look at their finances to find ways to make their money go further.  Whether it’s reducing grocery bills, cutting take-outs or cancelling subscription services, people are embracing a wide range of money saving tactics.

“It is clear though, that a lot of households can still make savings on financial products and services.  Using a comparison website to shop around for a better deal on your energy, insurance policies and credit cards can save you hundreds of pounds.  Providers constantly review their pricing, so even if you think you’re currently getting a good deal it’s worth regularly shopping around to find out.”

GoCompare customers can save up to £289 on their car insurance, £105 on their home insurance or £476 on their energy bills.3


For further information please contact:

Anders Nilsson at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 or Jessica Beeken (Jessica.Beeken@Gocompare.com).

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

1On 23 July 2020, an online survey of 2,061 randomly selected Great British adults was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.1%. The results have been weighted by age, gender, region and social grade to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

According to ONS, there are 51,767,543 adults in the UK.  From the research, 7% said they are worried about being able to pay their bills.  7% of 51.7 million is 3.6m. 

2According to the research, 71% of adults have tried to reduce their outgoings. 71% of 51.7 million is 36.75 million.    36.75 million multiplied by the average monthly saving of £94.88 is £3.5bn.

3GoCompare switch and saving figures based on: Car insurance: According to independent research by Consumer Intelligence between 1 April and 30 April 2020, 51% of customers could save up to £289 with GoCompare Car Insurance.

Home insurance: According to independent research by Consumer Intelligence conducted between 1 February to 29 February 2020: It compared 33 insurers from GoCompare’s panel and found 51% could save up to £102.63 on their buildings and contents insurance.

Gas and electricity bills: Save up to £476 on dual fuel bills – between 1st October and 31st December 2019 at least 10% of customers who provided their usage and received a price for switching both gas & electricity could save £475.92.


GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

For more information visit www.gocompare.com and www.gocogroup.com