Self

16 Bustle Readers Share How They Spent Money In Lockdown & Their Answers Might Surprise You

"I bought a hot tub"

Shutterstock / Bustle
By Sarah Lakos

We asked 16 women across the UK to share what their spending habits have been through lockdown. From Edinburgh to London, our Bustle audience have adapted to isolation by buying products and services that make their life more joyful.

From hot tubs to houses – their ‘most extravagant’ purchases are wildly varied. Consider this a window into the millennial woman's lockdown bank statement - and there are three trends we saw from taking a peek.

Conscious consumerism

Our readers have been using phrases and words like "more conscious", "cautious" and "mindful" to describe the way they spend money now. This language is both reflection of this year's sustainable-consumerism conversation, and thinking about how their purchases will bring them enjoyment over temporary distraction. Respondents talk a lot about making bigger, more meaningful purchases and focusing on quality over quantity.

Seesaw spending

While new costs have popped up in lockdown, other everyday outgoings have dissipated. A drop in commuting, work lunches, socialising and travel has left some extra room in her monthly budget.

Some of the women we heard from are choosing to set this aside for a rainy day (keeping their fingers crossed for travel). Others have already found new ways to spend this money. Which leads us to the third trend.

'Treat yourself'

Multiple women told us they've been shopping to 'treat' themselves throughout lockdown. Whether it's clothing, beauty products or homewares - they're looking for ways to reward themselves through online shopping.

In particular, homeware and interiors at at the top of her list - a reflection of spending so much time at home, and wanting to create a space that reflects her personal style.

Don't just take our word for it, have a read through their fascinating responses to our lockdown money questionnaire below.

Nicole, 27, London, works in the charity sector

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

Apple air pods. They were £136.

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

Pre-lockdown I used to spend quite a lot of money on clothes, but the last item I bought was a pair of Sweaty Betty leggings back in April (comfiest leggings ever, a true god send working from home).

I would say I used to spend the majority of my income on going out, but during peak lock down I was actually saving a lot of money and just treating myself to takeaway once a week. Other than that, I would just spend money on food and essentials.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

I'm too skeptical to book travel at this point, but definitely starting to look at clothes sites again. Also desperate to buy myself a new rug for my home office (aka. my bedroom) and more plants.

Riley, 25, London, Creative

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

A hot tub!

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

Treating myself to one off bigger purchases, less clothes and saving a lot at the same time.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

Driving Lessons.

Billie, 30, London, Writer

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

A ceramic Matilda Goad shell for £200

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

Initially I was spending money all the time - clothes, candles, interiors. Now I’m being more cautious about what I’m spending because I’ve realised next year is going to be an expensive one and I want to enjoy it.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

Beauty products, they all run out at the same time!

Hatty, 27, Durham, PA

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

A yoga mat for £70.

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

I overspent at the beginning on unnecessary items that I thought would make lockdown more wholesome. I've definitely reduced money spent on clothes and trying now to totally reduce spending habits.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

Travel!

Holly, 31, Wiltshire, Self Employed Set and Costume Designer

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

I bought a bike for £350.

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

I’m definitely spending more on groceries and wine. Otherwise I have been very mindful as my income has been drastically reduced and all my work cancelled. I’ve generally felt less of an urge to spend on things like clothing and beauty products as I have no where to go.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

A new bikini because it’s so hot!

Erica, 29, London, works in broadcasting

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase? and how much was it?

Dyson fan for £249

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

Definitely spending a little more on clothes despite living in leggings! I'm justifying it with I'm not buying lunches and going out for dinner.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

Plants; I want to make our garden and home more colourful.

Felicity, 31, lives in Manchester, Teacher

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

A house! It was £381k.

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

Definitely spending less money as we are eating out less. Also I’ve not been buying clothes as haven't really been going out anywhere to wear them. I’ve been reflecting on what we were spending each month before lockdown, and I don’t miss it, [it’s made] me more wary of spending in the future. Unless, I feel it's a real treat or I actually need it.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

I'll be hitting the homeware stores to fill up my currently bare looking house.

Renna, 31, Birmingham, works in engineering

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

Decking for my garden.

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

All of my shopping is now done online. I’m literally keeping amazon and eBay afloat. The one thing I did spend money on was a proper skincare routine: cleanser, toner, moisturiser, night cream, serum, and SPF.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

Garden furniture.

Allana, 26, London, Pharmaceutical Sales

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

An exercise bike that was £300.

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

[I'm] saving more as spending less on travel, my gym membership and work lunches... but I'm buying clothes.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

Holidays and home stuff.

Hayley, 24, Reading, Bartender

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

An Xbox costing £110.

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

I mainly try to be mindful of my money and only buy essentials, but I also like to treat myself every now and then.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

We moved into a new flat before lockdown so we will be buying a few things to make it look nice, such as a snazzy lamp for our living room.

Bre, 27, London, works in food industry

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

Molly Goddard dress (on sale) £300.

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

Treating myself much more in terms of spending more on smaller things like beauty products and clothing. Spending much less on other things like coffee or alcohol when I’m out as we’re staying in so much more.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

Homewares.

Harriet, 26, Surrey, Sales Manager

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

A holiday that was £650.

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

I'm spending less money on clothes and more money on coffees, meals out, trips, little spontaneous purchases like beauty [products]. I don't track my spending because I am saving so much from not commuting or regular nights/days out.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

Travel when possible! Getaways with friends.

Alex, 30, London, Head of Support at a product specialist

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

Alice Temperely Floor length Leopard Dress - £130 (who do I think I am). I closed my ASOS account and opened a Net-a-Porter account (shakes head). [I also] bought a Pink Leopard Print Cat Bowl - pretty sure cats only see on black and white.

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

Buy nicer wine. Buy more expensive gin. [I'm] not really tracking it - all the over spending has been compensated by way less hair cuts, no nail care and no travel.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

Homeware in my cart - my flat is like a cave and I need some soft lighting up in here.

Lea, 26, London, Management Consultant

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

Most exciting purchase was a Britta Water Filter as being home so much I got really fed up with unfiltered tap water. Now with my filter I can have filtered, ice cold water all day long and drink a lot more as a result of that. It was £28 including 6 filter refills.

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

I spent more money on clothes than I normally do, but not by a lot. Apart from that, my spending habit hasn’t changed much.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

A hallway tree to hang up coats that are floating about in the flat.

Lauren, 26, London, Music Publicist

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

I bought myself an Apple Watch because I've started working out a bit more in lockdown... But the most exciting spend for me through this period has been clearing my university overdraft and my credit card, which I hadn't been able to do for years.

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

I haven't bought any clothes whatsoever because I have nowhere to go! I have virtually no outgoings except rent and my bills. Lockdown has eased a bit, so I've seen my outgoings increase... but I'm really enjoying saving. Every time I want to treat myself or buy something I kind of say 'is it really worth it? would you rather put that money away?' and that stops me from indulging.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

I'm more interested in getting things that I wouldn't have been able to do pre-lockdown, like decorating my room, buying a gadget I couldn't have afforded, replacing things I couldn't afford to replace and even therapy. I'm more interested in continuing to save for when 'this is all over' with travel (when it's safe again) being my number one aim.

Maria, 31, Manchester, works in retail

What has been your most exciting or extravagant lockdown purchase?

In terms of a purchase for myself, probably some Grensen boots. I’ve had my eye on them for ages, got them for a ‘bargain’ at £165, should’ve been £295 ... been sitting in a box for about 4 weeks. Waiting for the right moment as its 27 degrees celsius right now.

How has your habitual spending changed in lockdown?

We’ve been fortunate to be in a position where we’re saving through lockdown. Getting deliveries became a high point in the week early on and online shopping sort of filled the void of physically going to look round the shops.

What are you about to hit 'add to cart' on next?

Travel - we struggle to switch off staying in and around Manchester so really hoping we’ll be ok to get away in a couple of months. If we do, we’ll be sure to make the most of our break. Homewares would be second on the list as hoping to move this side of Christmas. The list is growing...