The impact of COVID-19 on financial wellbeing
COVID-19 gave Te Ara Ahunga Ora a unique opportunity to study the impact of a global crisis on New Zealanders’ financial wellbeing. We joined a multi-country study based on the internationally-accepted model of financial capability designed by Professor Elaine Kempson of Bristol University.
Our first survey of 3000 people was undertaken in April 2020, during the last two weeks of Level 4 lockdown. A follow-up survey of 4000 people was done six months later in October 2020. People were interviewed about how personal and household finances were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, talking about their income, bill payment, borrowing, debt, savings, ability to pay for essentials such as food and whether they sought financial help.
Comparisons between results of the two surveys are enlightening, showing some areas of improvement, and others of continuing concern.