The last few months have been tough for most of us.
The news we receive every day seems to be a bit grim, perhaps having to read between the lines of some of the press. Gaining a good source of reliable data has sadly proved to be challenging on occasions, much to the annoyance of most of us.
So, where to look? The Office for National Statistics (the ONS) has been a great source of data, bringing forward some data on the issues faced by the UK into the public realm for all to consider. Of course, some of the information on the relative demise of the UK economy and the speed of its decline only confirmed what we sort of already knew. Some of the stats have been fascinating in the effects of most of us working from home for the first few months of the lockdown from March 2020.
A good example is how much cash we have been stashing away. There has been a point that if you can't spend it online then you can't spend it. The level of savings being achieved in the UK over the second quarter's period (April to June 2020) has been big! The findings issued on 30 September 2020 noted that UK household's savings ratio increased to a record level of 29.1% in the period, up from 9.6% in the first quarter of 2020, which in itself was higher than the last few years. Understandably to some extent, households reduced their spending by a record amount, namely £80.5 billion. This is a reduction of 24.2% and reflects the restrictions on movement over the period.
More detail on these statistics can be found here:
But this money stuff has changed a lot of lives, not always for the better. On the same day (30 September), following research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), the FT reported another effect of the pandemic, with over 1 in 8 older workers, and by older they are referring to the over-50s, having changed their retirement plans as a result of the pandemic. Many respondents have noted that their financial position had worsened. More on this can be found here:
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If you've got some spare cash, then this can be used in many ways, from paying down debt, such as credit cards, loans and mortgages, to creating an emergency deposit fund, to adding funds to your pension. Now we know that there will not be a Budget this October/ November, pension funding still offers most investors tax efficient savings. Just have a look as to where you should squirrel your money away, and if you don't know, then take some advice, online or otherwise.