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Four in 10 worry about post-lockdown socialising costs

Written by: Emma Lunn
Nearly 40% of people are concerned about pressure to socialise when they can least afford it, now that the economy is starting to open up again.

People are worried about being pushed into going on holiday, day trips, and meals out when they are struggling for cash, according to a survey by KIS Finance.

More than half (52.8%) of those aged 18 to 24, one of the groups most affected financially by the pandemic, are worried about social pressures and the associated costs.

A third (34.3%) of people are worried about losing their jobs, either due to their employer not surviving the pandemic or being made redundant when the furlough scheme ends in September.

About one in seven (14.1%) people are concerned over having to live off of a lower income than before the pandemic, while 11.2% are concerned about payment holidays ending in July.

The reasons people gave for potentially not being able to afford socialising costs include the cost of living increasing due to Covid, paying off loans and credit cards that were taken out because of the pandemic, rising rent and utility bills, and benefit cuts and the end of the uplift in Universal Credit.

Holly Andrews, managing director of KIS Finance, said: “Living under constant restrictions has been difficult for almost everyone at some point over the last year and a lot of us are desperate to see family and friends, as well as go on holiday and make up for what we’ve missed. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone will be able to keep up and be able to afford the same level of socialising as before the pandemic. Young adults have been particularly affected by reduced incomes and the need for increased borrowing, and they’re also the age group feeling the greatest pressure to make the most of life after lockdown.

“As much as you may want to go out and socialise, it’s important not to let yourself get into any further debt to fund holidays and days out. Now’s the time to create a budget and work out a debt repayment and spending plan for the coming months. Carrying debt for a long time, especially as a young adult, can really damage your credit score and affect your ability to obtain a mortgage in the future. Paying off any debt accumulated over the pandemic should be a priority as soon as you can afford to do so.”

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