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Life as we used to know it is coming back, and our latest research shows that Brits are ready to start unleashing the money they’ve been saving. Nearly two thirds of Brits have saved money since the start of lockdown, setting aside £2,100 on average, equating to a whopping £117 billion stashed away across the country. With life gradually returning to ‘normality’ it comes as no surprise that us Brits are planning on living our best lives this summer by spending £38 billion of our savings on luxury holidays, exciting days out and so much more. Here are the six splurges that took us by surprise…

1. Exciting days out

Visiting new places on day trips is a top choice for Brits’ summer plans as people make the most of there being no domestic travel restrictions. Nearly 68% hope to head off on an excursion and plan to spend £220 on them throughout the summer. If you’re a thrill seeker like me, then a skydive should definitely be on your to-do list this summer (that’s me in the photo above!). It’s hard to describe exactly what it feels like, but it doesn’t feel like falling and it certainly feels like freedom (a nice feeling to experience after lockdown). It was the greatest experience of my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

2. Hiring a chef and a butler

The desire to live like a celebrity at a fraction of the cost is a driving factor for those who plan to rent services usually only enjoyed by the rich and famous. Hiring a chef (4%) and butler (4%) for a really special night is one of the popular options as Brits plan on enjoying a gold-standard dining experience this summer. Laura, 28, is planning a party to remember. “My partner and I are planning on throwing a dinner party (when restrictions allow) with our friends and family at our house to mark all the milestones we've been unable to celebrate since lockdown began. We're planning on hiring a chef to make the occasion extra special (and low-stress!).”

3. Summer style

Dressing the part for holidays and events is a top priority for us Brits with £214 per person expected to be spent on summer fashion. Our customer spending data shows a 91% uplift in spending on fashion between March and May 2021, as well as a 107% increase in number of fashion-related transactions. Ali, 32, can’t wait to splash the cash on a new summer wardrobe. “It feels like I’ve been in my gym leggings (plus a rotation of smart tops for the Zoom calls) for 15 months now,” she says. “I can’t wait to start putting going-out outfits together again and to rediscover my love for shoes - shoes that people will actually see.”

4. Cosmetic surgery

Surprisingly, one in 16 out of the people we polled said that the return to normal life, for them, would include some nips and tucks. Rachel, 47, is a good example: she’s been researching cosmetic surgery and injectables throughout lockdown. “Staring at my face during endless Zoom calls, seeing what other people see, has made me feel really depressed,” she says. “Now that things are opening up again, I’ve decided it’s finally time to restore my confidence and try Botox for the first time.”

5. Getting a tattoo

There’s been a rise in body art since the pandemic with 11% of the people we polled planning on getting a tattoo (and that number is even higher for people below 34, at 25%). Ian, 33, is considering getting one. “Lockdown was tough for me, but it gave me time to think about things that I’d never had time to before - getting a tattoo being one of them.”

6. And the sensible one – paying off debt

Brits have been shaping up their finances over lockdown as over 41% have paid off debt, wiping £1,091 on average per person, and meaning £59 billion of debt has been cleared across the country. Craig, 28, is one of the many Brits who’s managed to get back on track with their finances. “Being able to pay off my debt was the only benefit of lockdown,” he says. “The money I saved from not being able to go out every weekend went towards completely clearing my overdraft. It’s definitely opened my eyes to how much I was spending pre-pandemic.”

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