Press Centre

Asda mums 'backbone of optimism' in the family despite tough times

  • New Asda Mumdex research reveals how thousands of UK families are feeling about their finances, their community and the future of their family
  • Research shows kids remain mums’ top priority, spending nearly double on their children than what they put away for savings and pensions
  • Despite the tough economic conditions mums are optimistic about their own family’s quality of life

Asda today (Tuesday 21st February) announced the launch of its first Mumdex report – a substantial piece of research that doesn’t look to house prices or retail sales data to predict consumer confidence, but takes a look at how thousands of UK families are coping with the realities of the changing economic landscape.

The Mumdex report reveals that despite the tough times that face us all, and that 75 per cent of UK families are worse off than a year ago, mums are actually optimistic about the future of their own family’s quality of life. This optimism is driven by mums feeling confident in their ability to manage their own household finances and reflects a make do and mend mentality.

While 94 per cent of mums feel that their standard of living is lower or static compared to a year ago, mum has been quick to react as 93 per cent have changed their lifestyle in response to the economic downturn. Despite the squeeze mums’ overwhelming priority remains their kids. Mumdex shows that mums are allocating twice as much of their weekly budget for kids as they do for themselves or their partner as they act as a buffer zone for their kids, soaking up the negative impact of the downturn wherever possible.

The Asda Mumdex score shows that whilst Asda Mums are a net minus eight per cent pessimistic about the overall outlook for the future. This is made up of a net pessimism score of minus 60 per cent for the outlook for the UK economy; net optimism score of 6 per cent about their own family’s situation; net 23 per cent for the future of their family’s quality of life, and a flat score on how they feel about the community. The balance of these four factors shows that how mums feel about the future isn’t just based on the cash they have in their wallets – quality of life, the prospects for the UK as a whole as well and their feelings on the wider community add up to a true measure of how mums feel about their economic situation.

The Mumdex findings give Asda the genuine insight required to inform and shape future business actions that truly resonate with mums.

Asda’s chief operating officer, Judith McKenna, comments:

“Our very first Mumdex panel tells a tale of two halves – mums are optimistic about their own household’s quality of life, but significantly less so about the outlook for the economy overall. They’re making real behaviour changes that point to a permanent shift in how mums spend – families are running just to stand still.

“Our message to the Mumdex mums, and the millions of other Asda Mums they represent, is that we’re hearing them loud and clear; we’ll take action to make sure we’re doing the right thing for their families in 2012 – and we know they’ll tell us if we’re not.”

Mumdex key findings

1. Money’s too tight to mention – three quarters of mums have less disposable income than a year ago

2. The big freeze – 42 per cent have been forced to accept a household pay cut or freeze

3. Financial feel-good factor– 88 per cent agree they feel proud when they save money

4.Budget not credit – two thirds budget more now than a year ago; only 1 in 10 buy more on credit

5. Need not want – 71 per cent are upgrading big ticket items less frequently

6. Staying afloat – 23 per cent of our mums can’t make ends meet and are borrowing to get by

7. Media fails to represent hardest hit – a third of mums think media has downplayed economic impact

8. Young mums worst off – 43 per cent of 16-29 year olds borrowing to afford the basics

9. The kids are alright – Mums are allocating twice as much of budget for kids’ costs as savings

10. Change is here to stay – 43 per cent of mums think UK economy with never be the same again

There is a lot more in the full report. You can download it here

Posted in Press Centre on 21 February 2012