New research has revealed that the financial uncertainty of 2020 means 85% of people in Scotland will change the way they manage their personal finances in the immediate and long-term future.
Credit reference agency Equifax found that although around a third (34%) of Scots said last year brought greater financial uncertainty, 16% have entered this year feeling positive about their finances.
A further 54% of those who experienced financial uncertainty in Scotland said they are now trying to be more frugal, compared to 46% of the wider UK.
However, 31% of Scots feel confident about their finances going into 2021, compared to just 19% of the UK as a whole.
The survey showed that 46% of Scottish respondents are trying to spend less disposable income each month.
Breaking down the demographics, 70% of 18 to 34 year-olds across the UK said 2020 brought them financial uncertainty, steadily decreasing across all age groups, with only 11% of those aged over 65 feeling the same.
As a result, 63% of 18 to 34 year-olds plan to change the way they manage their money in the immediate future, with 32% starting to save or put money aside.
And in terms of the sexes, 52% of UK women – compared to 38% of men – who experienced financial uncertainty in 2020 said they will be more frugal in 2021.
A further 41% of UK women plan to ‘buy more things I need and less things I want’, compared to 33% of men.
Lisa Hardstaff, head of customer experience at Equifax, commented: “Our latest research suggests vital personal finance lessons have been learned in this pandemic, and more people are looking to better manage their money.”
Despite the financial uncertainty brought by the pandemic, the research revealed that 28% of residents in Scotland used credit less than they did in 2019.
However, 14% used short-term buy-now, pay-later services for their online Christmas shopping.
Clare Seal, author of Real Life Money, added: “One of the silver linings of last year is that as a nation we are now being more open about financial concerns and mental health issues.
“In fact, 8% of the region said they are proactively seeking more financial advice from family and friends.”