Brexit and Covid-19 top UK’s money worries for 2021

POSTED: 20th January 2021
IN: Newsroom
  • Two in five (41%) Brits say they are worried about their financial future, with one in five (22%) saying financial worries are so great that it keeps them up at night
  • Brexit was the top money concern for 2021 with a quarter (26%) of UK adults saying the impact of Brexit on their personal finances is a worry
  • Many also have financial concerns due to the ongoing pandemic and lockdown rules; nearly a quarter (22%) fear they will not have enough money for unexpected expenses, one in five (20%) are worried about a slow economic recovery after the vaccine roll-out, and one in ten (11%) feel anxiety about losing their job or future income decreases in the next twelve months

New research1 from Aldermore Bank reveals that Brexit and the fallout from Covid-19 are the biggest money concerns for Brits in 2021. The survey of over 4,000 UK adults shows significant concerns over the uncertainty of Brexit on their personal finances, with over a quarter (26%) of UK adults expressing concerns about how it will impact on the economy making it the top money worry of 2021 in the UK.

Ewan Edwards, director of savings, Aldermore said: “After an unprecedented 2020, many people are going into the new year with trepidation about their personal finances, which is completely understandable given how unpredictable everything seems right now. Encouragingly, many appear alert to the what money concerns they have and are working towards ensuring they are financially prepared in the event of worst-case scenarios.

“Our research found that three quarters of Brits have savings goals this year, such as creating financial buffers or looking towards life improvements, which can be a great way to relieve future financial stresses and also concentrate minds on the positives in life that are ahead. With the unknown and unpredictable future, it is best that people look at savings products that provide flexibility, such as easy access and notice period accounts, meaning they can get interest on what they put away but also have peace of mind that it is available to them when they need it.”

Covid-19 implications continue to raise money fears

The ongoing Covid-19 outbreak continues to be front of mind when Brits consider their personal finances in 2021. One in five (20%) are concerned about the impact of a slow economic recovery once a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available. Given the pandemic, it’s unsurprising that people’s health is a priority, with an additional one in five (20%) concerned about the potential impact of poor health on their finances.

As a result of the current uncertainty around Brexit and Covid-19, one in five (22%) are worried that they do not have enough money set aside for unexpected expenses.

The biggest non-Covid or Brexit related financial worries among UK adults were not being able to afford a good quality of life (16%), not being able to save for retirement (12%), and not being able to afford a well-deserved holiday after the vaccine roll-out (12%).

Top ten money worries of UK adults for 2021

% of UK adults

The impact of Brexit on the economy


Not having enough money for unexpected expenses


My health


A slow economic recovery once a Covid-19 vaccine is rolled-out


Not being able to afford a good quality of life


Not being able to pay bills


Not having enough money for retirement


Not being able to go on holiday


Potential of losing my job/income decreases


Income only covering costs month-to-month so unable to put money away for the future



Brits focus on holiday and home improvement savings goals in 2021

Despite the feeling of financial uncertainty, many Brits are looking towards what they can save for in 2021. The top saving goal for things to buy or do in 2021 was for a holiday, with over a third (34%) saving towards a well-deserved break, followed by nearly a quarter (22%), unsurprisingly given the amount of time spent at home in 2020, looking at home improvements, and one in five (20%) are looking to relieve money stresses by building up financial buffers.

The top long-term savings goals in the UK were dominated by home related targets with one in seven (16%) looking at home renovations, one in nine (13%) at saving towards buying their first home, the same proportion of people are looking to pay off their mortgage, and one in ten (9%) are looking at helping their children get on the property ladder, with a further 7% looking to downsize or move.

A quarter of UK adults (25%) have a long-term priority of saving towards their retirement, and other popular long-term savings goals include saving for a holiday of a lifetime (15%), to provide children with inheritance (13%), and to fund for care in later life (8%). 

Top ten savings goals for things to buy or do in 2021

% of UK adults

A holiday


Home improvements


Building a buffer against unexpected expenses


To help pay for everyday living


A new car


A big ticket purchase like a new boiler / new fridge / new TV (etc.)


Luxury goods (laptops, mobile phones etc)


A house/flat with more space


University/further education fees or expenses


Items for a new baby



Notes to editors:

1Research conducted by Opinium between 27 November and 6 December, with a nationally representative sample size of 4,011 UK adults.

2 Aldermore bank is a Which? Recommended Savings Provider and provides award-winning savings products. In 2020, Aldermore was named as the Best Fixed Rate Business Savings Provider and Best Cash ISA Provider at the MoneyComms Awards and the Best Fixed Rate Business Savings Provider and the Best Fixed Rate ISA Provider at the Moneynet awards 2020.

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For further information about Aldermore, please review our Notes to Editors page.                      

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