75% of young Brits are focused on improving their personal finances post-pandemic – and many are sacrificing their chances of romance and opportunities to socialise with friends in the process, according to new research from Urban Jungle.
The survey shows a radical shift in priorities in people aged 18 to 35 – with a newfound need to take control of their finances in the fallout of COVID-19 taking centre stage.
The home insurance company surveyed over 1,000 Brits aged 18 to 35 at a poignant moment, with rising costs of living and decade-high inflation dominating the news agenda. The vast majority (60%) feel that they’re at an ‘unfair’ disadvantage compared to the generations directly before them when it comes to their financial lives – though a large segment of young people seem to be taking matters into their own hands.
More than two in five (44%) are currently building up a savings pot, over a third (37%) regularly use dedicated financial apps, and a quarter (26%) follow specific social media accounts about personal finance – interestingly (though perhaps worryingly) ranked as a more trustworthy source of advice than their own friends.
However, the newfound focus on financial stability comes at the cost of many other aspects of their lives – with romance falling down the priorities list. Whilst 41% ranked improving their financial position as a key priority right now, just one in five (22%) considered their love life to be a big focus, with the same low number saying that having fun and enjoying their social lives was important post-pandemic.
This means that financial stability is almost twice as high on their list of priorities than human connection. Other areas to see a fall down the priorities list include career progression (25%) and physical fitness (27%).
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The survey also unveiled key gender differences in the results, highlighting that young women are even more determined to improve their financial position. The data shows it was a much bigger priority to women (47%) than it was to men (30%), whilst 47% of young women are also currently building up a savings pot, compared to just 34% of men.
One aspect of this new financial savviness includes a fresh perspective on the value of personal possessions, with 8 in 10 young Brits (83%) found in the study to protect their valuable possessions with products like insurance and digital trackers. The results indicate that COVID-19 was a trigger, with 58% finding that they now value their physical belongings more since lockdown, citing reasons such as how important products like phones and games consoles are to their everyday lives, as well as their financial wellbeing.
Jimmy Williams, CEO of Urban Jungle said:
“After all of the uncertainty that COVID-19 brought to young people, we’re encouraged to see them taking their financial futures so seriously, and using all avenues available to them. We should give them more credit than we do for their financial savviness. At Urban Jungle, we have a vision for a world where as many people as possible feel confident about their financial future, and we want to help by providing fair and affordable insurance – so young people can be prepared for any financial mishaps, and ready for the next stages of their lives.”