The Roaring Twenties?
The decade of the ‘Twenties’ began and how they roared following the pandemic! 1920s or 2020s? You decide, knowing that the former is already etched into the history books.
We believe it’s important to have a theme for a year ahead, but 2021, the year ahead, is not any old year. It is almost two years rolled into one, if you agree that 2020 was effectively cancelled. And for most, there is a lot of living to catch up on both nationally and globally. It may get a little crazy out there once everyone is released, and that sounds like fun!
There might also be some good news if you have money in stocks & shares ISAs and pensions, as many stock markets across the globe have reacted positively and strongly in recent weeks, with many values returning from the big falls in March 2020.
So, 2021 might (like 2020) be a year of two sections, with not a lot happening in the first quarter, but then, post Easter, things getting busy. That is not to say that there isn’t important financial stuff that needs to be remembered before Easter 2021, such as:
Tax payments for those that need to (self-Assessment) need to be paid by 31 January
The next Budget is due on 03 March 2021, and I expect there will be many changes. The Chancellor will need to raise taxes; it’s just whether he does it this time round.
For the self-employed, the next SEISS payment allowed from HMRC is currently open for applications for the third grant. Applications for the third grant must be made on or before January 29, 2020. The months of February to April 2021 will be covered by the fourth SEISS grant.
It’s been very, very tough for some; however, we also know that for some, huge personal savings were achieved in 2020 as discretionary spending in particular was curtailed owing to the pandemic.
Brits working from home saved an average £110 a week, according to a survey from Aldermore Bank; that’s about £5,700 over the full year. The ONS (Office for National Statistics) goes higher at £182 saved a week. That’s about £8,638 by the end of 2020…a lot of money!
With the new lockdown in place, could more be saved to use later in 2021?
The Bank of England reported at the end of November 2020 that household savings have risen substantially since the start of the pandemic – however, according to the Bank’s biannual survey of British households between 25 August and 15 September, only a small fraction of households intend to spend these savings.
28% of those surveyed had accumulated additional savings as a result of the pandemic
20% had depleted their savings
The accumulation of savings was greatest for high-income households. 42% of high-income employed households saved more during the pandemic, compared with 22% of low-income employed households.
Retirees also saved more: 36% of them had increased their savings.
The reported income of households that had increased their savings was 45% higher on average than households that had decreased their savings, and their reported holdings of deposits were over three times greater.
The Bank of England analysis suggests that the accumulation of saving has been concentrated among wealthier and less financially distressed households. These households may be less likely to spend their savings in support of the recovery: higher-income households tend to spend a smaller fraction of their income, both on average and in response to a positive shock to their finances.
Only 10% of the households that increased their savings (less than 3% of the whole sample) planned to spend the money they had saved. About 70% said they planned to continue to hold the savings in their bank accounts. Others planned to use their savings to pay off debts, invest, or top up their pensions.
Can you save more in the next four to five months as we wait to come out of lockdown? And what do you plan to spend it on?