RBS: Almost half of young Scots prioritise spending on fun after lockdown

As the country begins to look at life beyond the pandemic, new research from Royal Bank of Scotland has revealed that nearly half (42%) of young people surveyed in Scotland view spending money on fun as more of a priority post-lockdown.

RBS: Almost half of young Scots prioritise spending on fun after lockdown

Charlotte Armitage

Despite the renewed sense of freedom and recent relaxation of restrictions, young people are struggling with an internal conflict between the desire to enjoy life and pressures to save, with as many as 85% of 18 to 34-year-olds feeling guilty when splashing their hard-earned cash on themselves.

This is further compounded by social situations, where nearly two-thirds (63%) of 18 to 34 year-olds admit to feeling pressured by their friends to spend money - even when they feel they don’t have enough cash to spare.

Contributing to this feeling of guilt, just over half (51%) of those interviewed confessed that they don’t have a monthly budget set aside for having fun, with nearly eight in ten (79%) admitting that they will need to rethink their spending this year in the wake of energy price rises.

Respondents cited the pandemic - and prolonged periods of lockdown - as key motivators for their changing spending patterns. Almost two-thirds (63%) agree they’re happy to splurge if it means the chance to make memories with friends and loved ones, whilst a third (33%) are keen to make up for the experiences they lost during lockdown.

The findings suggest that the desire to spend more money in 2022, combined with a lack of budgeting confidence and the rising cost of living is mixing together to create a financial storm.

Addressing some of the key concerns raised in the survey, Royal Bank of Scotland is launching a new campaign to help young people balance their longing to make up for moments and memories lost to the pandemic, with the need to set realistic and achievable budgeting goals.

Backing the campaign to support young people, social wellbeing analyst and award-winning businesswoman Charlotte Armitage said: “Dealing with anxiety related to your personal finances is one of the most pressing challenges coming out of the pandemic.

“Financial goal setting can be an effective strategy against the struggle. Momentum is critical and if you have a long-term savings goal, you need to break it down into manageable milestones, give yourself some easy wins and reinforce positive actions.

“After the past few years, it’s certainly okay to have fun and spend your hard earned money on yourself. Taking stock of your finances and getting a clear picture of your spending and saving will allow you to spot those areas where you can make small changes without sacrificing fun, allowing you to create memories and be confident about your financial future.”

Malcolm Buchanan, chair, Scotland Board, RBS, added: “It’s vitally important that we continue to listen to young people and understand the everyday challenges they face when it comes to managing their money.

“Whilst everybody’s financial situation is unique, it is through research and dialogue like this that we can design effective solutions and provide the tools to help make dealing with money easier for our customers.

“Royal Bank is committed to providing everyone with the support and skills they need to make responsible financial decisions, which in turn, will help them have fun and make memories.”

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