Photo by Ryan Buchanan

New research from Royal Bank of Scotland has found that more than half (56%) of 18–34-year-olds in Scotland put a ‘life moment’ (e.g. wedding, graduation, buying their first home) on hold during the last 12 months.

Of those with life moments planned, almost a third (31%) said ‘financial insecurity’ caused by the pandemic had affected these plans, with one in ten (10%) citing a loss of employment and 8% affected by their lack of financial knowledge. 

More than a fifth (22%) of all 18-34-year-olds said they feel anxious about money troubles in a post-Covid world compared with less than one in ten (9%) of those aged 55+. 

As the country takes the first steps towards re-opening, Royal Bank has committed to improving the nation’s financial capabilities by offering every person a free Financial Health Check, to reduce money anxieties and help them achieve their goals. 

To encourage signups for the service and urge young people to think about their future, the bank has enlisted the support of rapper and DJ, Shaheeda Sinckler aka Nova Scotia The Truth, who was crowned Scottish Album of the Year winner 2020. The 25-year-old rap artist, who lives in Edinburgh but had plans to buy a new home in Glasgow, has seen her life put on pause with live gigs postponed, missed family moments and adjusting to a virtual existence with college, career planning and even collecting her SAY Award from behind the screen, rather than on-stage at Edinburgh’s Summerhall. 

Shaheeda has been commissioned by the bank to write and produce an exclusive new track about the implications of 2020 and making future dreams happen – it’s due for release later this year.  

Despite the increased financial anxieties among young people, almost 2/5ths (39%) do believe the pandemic has made them better at financial planning and when asked about the things they are looking forward to once restrictions allow it, key sources of excitement for 18-34-year-olds in Scotland include:

  • Going on holiday (74%)
  • Date nights (50%)
  • Attending a live gig (48%)
  • A return to education (22%)
  • Buying a house (20%)


Shaheeda Sinckler, Nova Scotia The Truth, said: “At the start of 2020, I planned to move back to Glasgow and focus on gigging but because of the pandemic, I’ve had to stay at home with my family. It’s not been the easiest year but I’m lucky I’ve been able to focus on creative projects and do my college work virtually, I know not everyone has been so fortunate.

“The pandemic has given us time to reflect on our lives and the way we structure them and for me, that involved streamlining my finances to make sure I’m setting myself up well for when life goes back to normal. If you’ve got a plan in place now and the right support, you can achieve your goals quicker.”


Malcolm Buchanan, Chair, Scotland Board, Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “The impact of the pandemic on people’s plans – and their financial situation – has been immense.

“Directly or indirectly, everyone has been touched by it. Through our conversations with our younger customers and colleagues, a group who are normally working towards their future plans and goals, it is clear that many dreams and life moments have been paused. This is understandable given the climate.

“Shaheeda’s story has shown that it has impacted everyone, whether in the public eye or not.

“It has been challenging and there is a long way to go but we’ve seen that some people have reappraised what they want from life, whether it is a new life goal or even plans to set up their own business in the future.

“Regardless of how long it takes for people to get back on their feet, we want to help give everyone the support and skills they need to help them make their dreams a reality and help them plan for the future.”


Find out more about Royal Bank of Scotland Financial Health Checks

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