OPINION16 August 2021

Crawford Hollingworth: The first chunk is the hardest

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Behavioural economics Finance Impact Opinion Sustainability

Impact columnist Crawford Hollingworth outlines why it’s often so hard to take that first step.

black and white image of man using a calculator

Sometimes, when tackling a daunting task, it’s the first step that is the most difficult. Money troubles are a good example. While some have benefited from the lockdowns of the pandemic by clearing debt and amassing savings, simply because there’s less to spend their money on, for others – particularly those on low incomes already – it has been a very difficult year of managing on reduced or even zero income. Those in the latter group have ended up running down savings and building up debt instead.

A 2020 survey found that one in five respondents had no emergency savings at all before the pandemic and almost 40% had experienced a drop in income.

On top of this, it has become even easier to spend these days; contactless payment methods, either by card or phone, pass under our radar, and the contactless limit increased from £45 to £100 this year in the UK.

The ubiquity of ‘one ...