Vulnerable Consumers Research case study


An online interview lasting 40 minutes

Topics Covered

Financial Squeeze

"I'm on a low wage and paying rent. Like you say, cost of living, energy bills, petrol always seems to be going up. And I suppose I just see my kind of savings going down so not maintaining them."

"I worry about the benefit getting paid at the right time. I'm sitting up at 12:00 at night waiting for the benefit to come in."

"I've got a drawer here. You're on my computer. I can't show you, but it's got several bills, and I just put in the desk, shut the door."

Disclosing Information

"I guess I would be slightly wary that it could cause a problem, in terms of, I don't know if you're applying for a loan or something and then you're a bit too brutally honest. They might hold it against you."

"I want to be left alone. From people who want to know about me. Yeah. If, if I want help, I'll go out and find it."

"I wouldn't want my credit report affected even though it is dire. Might be passed on by these charities."

Financial Advisors

"Having a discussion with the financial advisor helped but what I see is that the financial advisors, when they look at it, they don't look at the whole picture."

“It's really important to have a trust in people and just to see them look like they're not just for financial services, but to a real person, you can talk to, you can share, you can ask for advice so they can really help you."


"At the moment? No, it's not the top of my worry list, which is quite nice. I do think it's something that's always floating around there and I'm not sort of flippant with it because I think things can change quite quickly. So I'm always wary that if things changed by the Government via the whatever the people that do the interest rates, if it changed dramatically, would we be okay then?"

Effects on Spending

"But I think we're probably not going out so often, or there are some essential things that need to be paid anyway. I mean, the bills or the food, the children, clothes, the activities at school, which you can't just ignore. They should be paid. They have to be paid."

Money Management

“We don't have a budget on a spreadsheet or anything like this. I don't do it because to be honest, I would find it really stressful and I have so many things to do, so I don't want to have a word with myself honestly, because I'll have to do it. And for now we don't need to do it."

Earning Extra Money

"I mean, this is a perfect Zoom call for market research, doing online surveys and scanning receipts - there's a lot of applications on Android where you can scan your receipts and it earns you a little."

"After work. And so I'll be spending maybe two or three hours doing that a night and then getting up early and doing another hour before starting work in the morning."

Mental Health

"Yeah, for sure. How could you not be? How could it not affect your mental health if you're worrying about which bills to pay for first or how long is this going to go on for? How much debt am I going to be in and what's the end result?

"Sadly, in the last 18 months, I've lost two people that I used to work with to suicide. And one of my friends, has a 16 year old and a year ago this week committed suicide and suffered mental illness because he couldn't talk about things."