Thursday 22 July 2021 1:03 pm

Charity, dating and pet spending rises as restrictions relax

As Covid restrictions continue to ease, Britons spend more on charity, dating and their pets.

Building society Nationwide said today that spending also surged on holidays, among many other activities, between April to June, as well as eating and drinking, leisure, gardening and clothing.

Nationwide analysed millions of transactions by its customers from April to June, and compared them with last quarter. Holidays boasted the biggest increase, with spending rising by 141 per cent. This included more spending on UK campsites and caravan parks.

Spending on eating and drinking came up to more than £1bn as restrictions on restaurants were lifted.

General retailers and department stores still reel from the pandemic as spending dropped by 91 per cent.

Charity shop demand increases

Spending on charity had grown by 16 per cent. When charity shops reopened on the 12th of April, Organisations like the British Heart Foundation made £1m in a single day.

Robin Osterley, Charity Retail Association’s chief executive, had said ”during lockdown people had a chance to reflect on what they really needed, and so were donating after clear-outs.”

”People who were in a financial position to make a choice were attracted by the sustainability aspect of buying from charity shops. They also liked the fact that their money was going to a good cause, he added.”

The pandemic also meant people also struggled financially. Therefore, they had to buy from charity shops to make ends meet.

Online dating and pets.

The data also showed that people prioritised looking for romance. Between April and June, £3.8m was spent on online dating, a 5 per cent rise from the previous quarter.

Britons also showcased their love for their pets. £124.5m was spent on gift, and keeping them fed and healthy. Millions of households bought new pets during the pandemic. This prompted lawyers to give couples legal advice. In the event of a break up, couples should enter an agreement which determines who should get custody.

In terms of essential spending, public transport and taxi’s saw the biggest growth, followed by motoring and fuel and car charging.

Contactless spending growth

Contactless payments were already booming during the pandemic, and continued to grow in the second quarter.

Mobile payments were up 76 per cent, while contactless card payments grew 46 per cent. Despite this, debit cards still dominated payment methods.

Mark Nalder, Nationwide’s head of payment, said that although contactless payments are convenient for many, a decline in cash could become entrenched, which is a disadvantage to people who rely on it.