Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The coronavirus pandemic has left 37% of Brits feeling in the dark about their financial future, meaning 19.4 million say they are not prepared for an economic downturn. This is even more prevalent for those with a household income of less than £15,000 a year, where the figure rises to more than half (53%) of those surveyed saying they are not financially prepared.

Those in Gen-Z (49%) and Millennials (49%) are the least likely to be financially prepared for a potential economic downturn, with 44% of Gen X feeling the pressures too. Baby Boomers have their future finances more under control with 73% feeling prepared.

Over half (54%) of people in the UK who say they aren’t financially prepared say they do not have enough or any savings to support themselves in the near future, 27% say they have a reduced income due to COVID and a further 24% say they are struggling with their finances.

Over a quarter (27%) of Brits do not know how to access any online guidance for their finances and of these over a third (36%) say it is because they don’t know where to look while almost a quarter (23%) say they find it overwhelming.

Mastercard is addressing these issues alongside a coalition of partners with the campaign, ‘Leave Nobody in The Dark.’ Alongside Good Things Foundation, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The APLE Collective, Clean Slate Training & Employment CIC, the campaign provides 1-2-1 support, access to digital and the skills, confidence and support to use it to be better off and a digital hub, to bring guidance together for Brits to easily source and navigate.

In the past three months, the YouGov research found, 15% of Brits turned to the government for payment support relief. Of these, more than three in five (61%), are worried about what will happen next as this comes to an end. Over a third (35%) are relying on their income returning to normal, over a quarter (26%) plan to use savings and 15% will ask for an extension payment plan.

Those that are already trying to prepare themselves have been cutting down on non-necessity items/goods (50%), 37% have cut down on food wastage and a third have been more conscious about utility bills by turning off lights, plug switches and not using heating.

Almost half (45%) of Brits have become more aware of their finances as a result of the pandemic and over the next six months, nearly a fifth (17%) of Brits plan to seek guidance on budgets and re-payments. Amongst those who will seek guidance, the top three places Brits plan to turn to are their parents (43%), websites run by charities and councils (40%) and 30% will turn to banks or building societies.