More than three in four adults are taking active steps to keep the household budget afloat, according to new elephant communications research.
Compared to this time last year there have been some significant changes: 72% of respondents said staying at home in the evenings is a step they are taking to keep the family finances afloat - up from 44% this time last year. The elephant research reveals there has been an increase in the proportion of people swapping to cheaper brands – now up to 60% - and more than one in two people are buying goods second hand from auction sites or charity shops.
Small steps also proved popular – the amount of people saying they are making their own packed lunch has almost doubled to 55% in the last 12 months.
The findings are from the seventh edition of the elephant communications Austerity Britain research series, a rolling research study which explores now the public are reacting to the economic events and uncertainty they are living with. To date, the study has explored attitudes to charitable giving, university, the arts, money management, holidays, role models and spending.
The new edition also looks at plans for Christmas and use of credit cards. Many people are planning Christmas on a budget, 42% setting a strict spending limit per head and others say they plan to cut down on non-essentials such as decorations. Around one in three claim they have used their plastic to pay bills in recent months because money has been tight in the current account, a situation most prevalent in London. Also of the 37% that said they borrowed money last year to fund Christmas, around one in five are yet to clear the debt.
Guy Bellamy, Managing Director at elephant commented: “The Austerity Britain series we have been running takes snapshots of aspects of everyday life and delivers interesting insights on the consumer mood and outlook on a wide range of issues. The changed economic climate has had a huge ripple effect on consumer outlook and priorities – and this has changed the terms of engagement for brands that want to talk with them.”
Highlights from the new edition of Austerity Britain will be shared with clients later this month, and the elephant team will be running a London insight event for in-house communication teams in early 2013 to review the highlights and trends from the first eight editions.