A study of 2,000 adults found 43 percent have completely re-evaluated life and what really matters to them since the pandemic, with plans for travelling, having loads of money and a nice car now less significant than they were some 12 months ago. But being able to work from home, getting out for daily walks and exercising regularly are now more valuable than they were a year ago. Spending time in the garden, eating healthily and making sure the home is a space to enjoy have all become more important.
An overwhelming 78 percent of adults admit they took their life for granted before lockdown, while just under six in 10 have gained a new perspective on what really matters.
Maitham Mohsin, Head of Savings at Skipton Building Society, which carried out the study, said: “We wanted to check the state of the nation to find out what really matters to people and how have their life priorities now changed due to the pandemic. Our results show there definitely appears to be a shift in what people now want out of life.
“The most significant change appears to be the desire to go abroad – this was once something people yearned for, but a year without significant international travel has meant we’ve learned to really appreciate what is on our doorstep.
“There is the real feeling from the research that people have taken stock a little, and now really enjoy the slower pace of life, with less focus on material things and to continue with new habits such as saving more and being more careful with their finances.”
It emerged Brits are now less worried about having good career or promotion prospects, or a high paying salary.
But it has become more important to have a job with flexible working opportunities, to spend lots of time with family and pets, and to have access to the countryside.
The work life balance has already improved for some 23 percent of those polled via OnePoll, and with that 35 percent want to slow down and enjoy life more.
Though people are less focused on the salary entering their bank, when it comes to money, more than one quarter have found throughout lockdown they have been more careful with money and hope this will continue, while 27 percent want to carry on saving more money, rather than spending it.
Over half of adults admit they would like some elements of lockdown to remain once restrictions are lifted.
With six in 10 stating they have no intention of returning to exactly the same lifestyle they had before Covid-19 swept the country.
As many as three in 10 are determined to continue watching what they are eating, 33 percent want to keep exercising well, and spending time outdoors is a must for 38 per cent.
Community spirit remains strong – with 15 percent feeling determined to maintain their place within the local neighbourhood, and 13 percent intend to keep helping vulnerable or elderly members of society.
Maitham continued: “Having savings for a rainy day still matters to people and it’s great to see that this is still a top 10 priority.
“And it seems during the pandemic that lots of people have picked up some great money habits, from ensuring they are putting a little extra away while they can through to reviewing how they manage their finances overall.
“The past year has been tremendously difficult, but has enabled people to really think about what matters to them and what really makes them happy.
“At Skipton, we know when your money is in a good place, so are you, and by continuing the new habits and savings post lockdown will certainly help people to continue with their aims of improving their well-being and quality of life.”
THE NATION’S PRIORITIES TODAY (compared to 12 months ago)
Having a holiday abroad booked to look forward to 11per cent DOWN 10per cent
Regular nights out with friends 7per cent DOWN 5per cent
Having a job I enjoy 9per cent DOWN 4per cent
Planning to go travelling 11per cent DOWN 4per cent
Having time to do hobbies and interests 13per cent DOWN 3per cent
Making time to visit family 20per cent DOWN 3per cent
Having money in savings or a rainy day fund 19per cent DOWN 3per cent
Regularly eating meals with family 9per cent DOWN 3per cent
Having a steady or secure job/income 12per cent DOWN 2per cent
A good work/life balance 18per cent DOWN 2per cent
Balancing a healthy social life 8per cent DOWN 2per cent
Good career or promotion prospects 2per cent DOWN 2per cent
Having loads of money 4per cent DOWN 2per cent
Having a nice car 4per cent DOWN 2per cent
A high-paying salary 3per cent DOWN 2per cent
Seeing children every day 7per cent DOWN 1per cent
Being friendly with neighbours 6per cent DOWN 1per cent
Going to the office to work 3per cent DOWN 1per cent
Having regular date nights with my partner 5per cent DOWN 1per cent
Having lots of material possessions 2per cent DOWN 1per cent
Planning an intimate, simple wedding 1per cent DOWN 1per cent
Being able to work from home 9per cent UP 4per cent
Getting out for daily walks 19per cent UP 4per cent
Exercising regularly 21per cent UP 3per cent
Spending more time in the garden 14per cent UP 3per cent
Eating healthily 19per cent UP 2per cent
Making sure my home is a space I enjoy 14per cent UP 2per cent
Spending lots of time with family 23per cent UP 1per cent
Spending more time in the countryside 10per cent UP 1per cent
Getting out on my bike 5per cent UP 1per cent
Spending time with pets 10per cent UP 1per cent
Being able to work flexibly 8per cent UP 1per cent
Spending more time at home 7per cent UP 1per cent