Last of the big spenders? How Covid prompted a new frugality


For many, economising has been the painful result of job losses and furlough, while others are feeling guilty about splashing out in a pandemic. But will it last – and how will it affect the economy?

One of the many changes lockdown has wrought in me is that I’ve grown to dislike spending money. Previously, I was pretty free with it. I managed to keep my head above water, my account in the black, but not by much. I would happily buy takeaway coffees for £2.80, Pret lunches for close to a tenner, and £9 glasses of wine at wildly overpriced bars. Throw in train and tube fares and the occasional taxi, and a day at the office could easily cost £50 or more.

Come lockdown in March, all that changed. I was suddenly accumulating money rather than frittering it, and it was a nice feeling. But at some point in the past nine it started to become something bordering on an obsession: lockdown has turned me into a miser. Maybe I’m anxious about the rainy days ahead; maybe I’m worried about how fragile everything seems with the pandemic and Brexit and a government that is clearly out of its depth. But whatever the reason, I’ve become Scrooge-like.

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