The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns resulted in a significant reduction in spending across the UK. In fact, Brits spent £6.6 billion less between April 2020 and March 2021 (at the heart of the lockdown) than during the same period the year before.
Part of the reduction in spending was due to businesses and restaurants being closed and travel restrictions. But part of it also came from people focusing more on savings.
With the country reopening, it makes perfect sense that people are going back to socialising and spending. In fact, data shows that spending is up 361% since April 2021 compared to the same period last year. And recent research by Aqua shows that some cities are diving faster and deeper into spending than the average.
Brighton and Hove sees the biggest bounce back
Once the lockdowns started to ease, Brits headed out to eat and drink, went shopping and booked holidays. Spending is considerably up compared to last year as people are eager to socialise after so many months of restrictions – but some cities are definitely making the most of it.
Brighton and Hove leads the way with an overall city bounce back ranking of 386.2% compared to the previous year. It is also the city with the highest search volume for travel information and bars/restaurants nearby.
When it comes to recreation and retail spending, Brighton and Hove ranks third, with Northampton leading on retail spending and Bradford leading on recreation spending.
And while the coastal city could potentially offer the perfect staycation, residents of Brighton and Hove are also looking to get away. According to Aqua, residents have spent 51 times more on travel this year than the year before. Searches for ‘spas in Brighton’ are also popular for city residents hoping to stay near home.
How to keep the spending under control
If you’re feeling the pull to spend more now that lockdown is over, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Take a closer look at your credit cards. How much do you currently owe? And what are your monthly payments? If you cannot keep up with your minimum payments, it’s time to reassess your needs and wants.
- If you don’t have a budget, start one now. Socialising and shopping can get expensive quickly, especially if you’re trying to make up for lost time. This is a good time to sit down and evaluate your expenses. Give yourself a budget for entertainment and ‘fun’ shopping so you can get a better idea of where your money is going.
- See if you can eliminate some expenses to account for the extra fun spending. Cancel TV or music subscriptions you started during lockdown if you’re not using them or can’t afford them. Look in your wardrobe and make sure you really need to go clothes shopping. If not, stay away from the shops.
- If your credit card allows you to set up alerts, take advantage of them. Set up a customised alert to let you know when you fall under a certain balance threshold. This way you can reassess expenses for the month to get your spending under control.
Some offers on The Motley Fool UK site are from our partners — it’s how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our ratings? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.