5 Pandemic trends that are here to stay

The pandemic has led to people around the world to re-evaluate their behavior, habits, financial decisions and priorities. Here are 5 trends that accelerated during the pandemic.
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Saving Atitudes

The COVID-19 pandemic created a tale of two economies: those who were able to save money, and those who struggled to make ends meet. Only one third of respondents of a survey from The Balance said their financial behavior had improved during the pandemic, mostly due to less spending—a luxury that not everyone had. Feelings of precariousness and financial insecurity both created and exaggerated by the pandemic mean that consumers are looking for a sense of control. According to a Statista survey 30% of German respondents lost income due to the pandemic, 64% have said to fear the future and 36% expressed their financial situation to be a main concern. Most non-retired individuals worldwide wanted to save more towards their retirement after the outbreak of the coronavirus compared to what they planned before, as of 2021. Nearly one out of five Americans did not have any kind of financial plan but started one due to the pandemic. One-third of Americans say their financial attitude has improved during the pandemic; most expect those habits to stick.

Reinvention Of Spaces For Life And Work

The last two years working from home changed from an exceptional perk to a must for a new way of life. Survey respondents who work from home are 10 percentage points more optimistic than those who work away from home. And those who can work in a hybrid way are 9 percentage points more optimistic than those who are required to either be at home or in an office all of the time. A lot of people don’t have the luxury to work from home but of those who can many people want to continue working from home the majority of their working hours post pandemic. One third of people even said that working from home has had a positive impact on their mental and physical health. Flexible work is here to stay. The pandemic also reshaped the way people value their homes. Home represents much more than where you live. It’s your office, meeting room and sometimes even school and kindergarten. Many made long-lasting improvements to make their all-in-one place more comfortable by purchasing furniture that supports multi-use space and home offices. However, according to a report by Mintel, 48% of UK consumers who work remotely find it difficult to manage work and leisure boundaries at home.

Physical and mental wellbeing took the stage

The global pandemic led many to rethink their look on a healthy lifestyle which leads to people taking charge of their health and lifestyle. With health-consciousness at its all time high the focus seems to be shifting from preventive to proactive. Instead of thinking “what do I do when I am sick” people are now changing to a more preventive attitude wondering “how do I stay healthy”. This shift is also reflected in small behavioural changes like taking more breaks from work, spending less time on social media. It’s all about identifying your stress triggers and trying to avoid them. Self-care is no longer seen as an indulgence but rather as a necessity. Two third of people say that they prioritize physical and mental well being more than before the pandemic. This increased consciousness is also reflected in a change in purchasing behaviour. Conscious consumerism has gained popularity according to Mintel 2021 global consumer trend report. Consumers are becoming more thoughtful about what they purchase, where it comes from and how their buying habits affect the world around them.

Crypto currency to the moon

Bitcoin, blockchain, Ethereum, Dogecoin, NFTs… Everyone is talking about cryptocurrencies these days and you would not be the only one if all the crypto lingo makes your head spin! Over the last 18 months the popularity of crypto currency has been growing to new heights. Everyone seems to be determined to claim their riches through crypto, from high school kids trading on their phones to older generations who still regret missing out on the dot-com-era. The global user base of cryptocurrencies increased by nearly 190 percent between 2018 and 2020, according to information from trading platforms and wallets. Analysts estimate that the global cryptocurrency market will more than triple by 2030.

Cash culture

Even though Germany has a proud culture of technical innovation, it is not uncommon for cafes, restaurants and small stores to only take cash. According to historian Robert Muschalla, the longstanding preference for tangible money “is based on an underlying preference for the supposedly concrete versus the abstract”. ‘Cash is king’ has been a long lived motto of the German consumers and small business owners but Covid brought rapid change and worked as a catalyst for contactless payment. The German payment landscape is evolving with a slow but steady shift in habits but not too long ago, according to a survey from 2017, 88% of German consumers wanted to continue to pay cash in the future. Georg Hauer, bank manager at N26, a Berlin-based online banking start-up, stated: “Covid-19 has probably changed German payment behaviour faster than any single technology ever has”. 

After almost two years, we're still learning to live with the COVID-19 pandemic. But many of us started paying more attention to our personal health, increased consciousness around our finances, started investing and have grown accustomed to innovative ways of payment. In many ways, the negatives clearly outweigh the positives but there are some silver linings to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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