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13 million Brits wish they could save more

10th March 2016 Print

As the UK savings landscape evolves with new changes introduced this month, a new study from Santander has revealed that one in five Brits do not save anything. Brits who do save, save on average a quarter of their disposable income, equating to just over £120 a month. Whilst one in four adults (13 million or 26 per cent) wish they could save more regularly.

The study highlights the six different savings typologies found in the UK today. The most common kind of saver is the ‘Sometime Squirreller’ (32 per cent) who saves for special occasions or big purchases but doesn’t have a regular savings habit or save as often as they would like. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) are ‘Superhero Savers’, setting aside as much as they can and making the most of their savings.

Other personalities highlighted are the ‘Save Another Dayers’ (17 per cent) who think saving is a great idea, if only they could get around to it and the ‘Ravers Not Savers’ (six per cent) who’d rather splash their cash and enjoy themselves. The ‘Fence Sitters’ (11 per cent) never think about saving and for the ‘All Gone Againers’ (11 per cent), payday can’t come quickly enough. Once the bills have been paid, they have nothing left to save.

More than 30 million (61 per cent) UK adults admit to having been shocked by how much they’ve spent when checking their bank balance with 13 per cent acknowledging this happens often. In an attempt to control their spending, over a quarter (28 per cent) have cut up credit cards, 36 per cent have avoided shops altogether and almost one in five (19 per cent) have cancelled all their cards.

Helen Bierton, Head of Savings at Santander, said: “Our study shows that one in three of us have a good understanding of saving which is brilliant; we just all need to a get a bit better at putting it into practice.”

“Setting aside money each month may sound daunting, especially when budgets are tight, but getting into the habit of saving small amounts regularly is hugely beneficial in the long-term. Santander is committed to helping families make the most of their hard-earned cash and we have a range of products available for all different types of savers.”

The most popular things Brits save for is a big purchase such as a holiday or car (34 per cent) followed by unexpected expenses such as a boiler breakdown (21 per cent). There are some saving gender disparities with more women saving for Christmas and birthday gifts than men (23 per cent compared to 16 per cent). 22 per cent admitted they needed better discipline and commitment to saving.

Dr. Peter Collett, Behavioural Psychologist commented: “It’s interesting to see the different types of savers in the UK; what motivates people to save and what personality traits stop us from saving. My own research shows a person’s relationship with their future self has a big impact on their savings habits. How close you feel to yourself in ten, twenty years’ time influences the choices you make now; whether you save and look after yourself in the future, like the Superhero Saver, or you prefer to enjoy the present, as the Raver Not Saver.

“It’s also interesting to see the influence our parents have on us. The study revealed that 29 per cent of savers claimed it was their parents’ example that turned them into great savers.”

More than three quarters (88 per cent) of the UK think they should have a “rainy day” fund, and on average Brits think they should have approximately £6,500 in savings set aside for this. Santander’s savings quiz helps Brits understand their savings personality with useful tips on how to make small changes to their savings habits to improve their savings fund.

Regional Breakdown

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Londoners are the most likely to splash their disposable cash - 12 per cent of Londoners admit to being ‘Ravers Not Savers’, compared to only three per cent in the East of England and Wales. The ‘Superhero Savers’ accolade goes tothose in the North East (30 per cent) whereas people living in the South East and South West are the most likely to fall into the ‘Sometime Squirreller’ typology (both 36 per cent).