Case study

Cost of Living Research

Exploring the impacts of rising costs on the Scottish public, how behaviours are changing and what support is needed

The aim

The cost of living crisis has impacted people across Scotland and affected behaviours and perceptions related to health, personal finance, work, study, and travel, among many other areas of life. These changes have affected people’s support needs and public, private and third sector organisations are having to adapt quickly to make sure these needs are being met. Progressive decided to conduct a self-funded research study to understand and explore the impacts of rising costs in Scotland and to explore how attitudes and behaviours were shifting as a result. We took a deep dive into the experiences of members of the Scottish public to understand changing behaviours and support needs.

Our approach

We ran a three day online community where participants shared their experiences of rising living costs in Scotland through a variety of activities. Participants were required to complete tasks each day, sharing details of their behaviours and perceptions related to living costs in different parts of their lives including health and wellbeing, personal finances and grocery shopping. The activities included reviewing a news article related to rising costs, visiting a supermarket and sharing feedback on the experience, and a diary task related to day-to-day personal finances.


The research found that many had lost their sense of financial security and there were deep-set feelings of vulnerability and worry related to money and the future. Fears about future inflation were driving behaviours and many had adjusted their approach to spending to account for reduced disposable incomes. Rising costs were having knock-on effects across people’s lives, causing social lives to be disrupted, larger purchases to be reconsidered and mental and physical health to be impacted.

If you’re interested in hearing more about our insights, get in touch with Olly at [email protected]

Share this article...

Explore more case studies...

Your audience has a story to tell.

Can we help make sense of it?