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Brits shun savings accounts for DIY saving

21st August 2014 Print

An estimated £1.3bn of loose change is sitting in coin jars across the country, according to new research, as 10 million more UK adults save money in a coin jar than in a bank or building society savings account.

Commissioned by Savings, the research found that 31.3 million UK adults (66%) have coins stashed in a jar, while only 21.6 million (45%) regularly put money away each month into a bank or building society savings account. The average penny jar contains £40.80.

More women (67%) than men (64%) have coin jar savings but, the value of men’s money pots are higher with an average of £42.80 compared with just £39.00 for women.

The survey also revealed that:

Over a fifth (22%) of jars contain in excess of £50, while 9% contain over £100;

2p coins are the most likely denomination saved (82%), followed by 1p (81%), 5p (79%), 10p (59%) and 20p coins (58%), 38% of jars contain 50p coins, 27% £1 coins and a quarter £2 coins.

When asked why they put money in a penny jar:

54% said it was a good way to save;

Just under half do so because they don’t like carrying loose change around;

22% use coin jar savings to treat themselves;

11% said that it was a waste of time putting the money in savings account because of low interest rates;  

One in ten were saving for something specific.

Claire Peate, customer insight manager at, said: “Anyone who regularly empties their pockets or purse of change into a coin jar will be surprised just how fast it adds-up. As our survey shows, it’s not uncommon for people to have a significant sum of money stashed away – nearly one in ten of penny jar savers have over £100 sitting in their penny pot.

“While coin jars are a quick and easy way to save loose coins – they could be costing you money in lost interest. If you find you are regularly building up a significant sum and not missing the funds, it could be worth setting up a direct debit to a savings account or Nisa and stepping up your savings effort.”