'It could take three years for finances to recover from Covid'

Half of Britons have reported that the pandemic has been eating up their savings. Many believe that it will take an average of three years for their finances to fully recover.

A survey by compareethemarket.com found that 36 percent of households have been unable to save money since the virus broke out.

More than half of the study participants (53 percent) stated that they were running out of money. More than a quarter (29 percent) of families with children at home said they had trouble paying their bills the week before the survey.

Some households with no children at home also had problems. 16% said they had had a hard time paying their way in the past week.

The survey of more than 2,000 people was conducted between January 15 and 17, 2021.

Almost three in ten (28%) families with children living at home said they are currently less financially secure than they were when they were in previous lockdowns, compared with 16% of households with no children at home.

Some families said they had to sacrifice part of their income to free themselves for childcare, home schooling or broader household support.

Almost half (44%) of families are concerned about the tightening of the approval criteria for financial products.

If the coronavirus lockdown persists beyond March, one in seven (13%) families with children at home think they need to take on more debt, and a similar proportion (11%) will turn to family and friends for money.

If severe restrictions persist after April, almost one in ten (9%) families with children at home fear that they will not be able to afford their rent or mortgage, apply for payment leave, or find another job, the survey found .

Ursula Gibbs, director at compareethemarket.com, said: “While the introduction of the vaccine at the end of the tunnel is a much-needed light, the financial ramifications of the coronavirus will unfortunately be felt for many families long after the lockdown is lifted.

“Families with children at home are particularly affected, and many are more concerned now about their ability to pay bills and make ends meet than at any other time in the past year.”

She said switching billing providers could bring some relief to households. Recent research by the comparison website found that household bills for those who switched providers fell by an average of £ 174 in 2020.

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