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Budget 2014: Younger consumers look to boost own finances

Published:  20 March, 2014

In the wake of yesterday's Budget, which targeted pensioners and savers, research shows the younger generation is taking proactive measures to boost its finances.

Research from JWT's Austerity Index show Resilients, the group aged 18-39, have an entrepreneurial approach to their finances and an upbeat attitude to match.

ResilientsResilientsResilients - the 18-39 year-old age group - are more likely to have a proactive approach to their finances and a forgiving attitude towards brands and the government than others.

The study shows this group is significantly more likely than any other age group to have:

  • found an extra job or taken on more work (35%)
  • bought items specifically to 'flip' for profit (20%)
  • started their own business (11%)

They are also prepared to make sacrifices, with 40% regularly skiping meals to save money; 30% selling items they actually still need or want and 18% moving to cheaper cities.

Yet despite being among the hardest hit by the austerity agenda, experiencing higher unemployment and negative earnings growth, the Resilients remain pretty positive. Their Austerity Index measure is 248; 22 points below average, indicating that their assessment of the impact of austerity on their lives is less severe than most. Their optimism stretches to their appraisal of others too; they are more forgiving towards brands and institutions, including the government.

Tracey Follows, chief strategy officer at JWT London said: "Naturally some of the Resilients' can-do approach could be down to their youthful optimism but they may also derive some buoyancy from their sense of connectedness. This generation has grown up witnessing and harnessing the power of social networks, so they have greater faith in themselves and communities to have influence and to drive change."

JWT surveyed 800 adults in December 2013 using the JWT Sonar index. The JWT Austerity Index is a quarterly survey analysing the impact of prolonged economic adversity on UK consumers and markets to provide that information to brands and organisations.