Are you a careful saver, an as-and-when saver, or someone who's more of an all-out spender? Santander has taken a closer look at the savings habits of UK consumers, and while there are some that are strict when it comes to saving money, others show room for improvement…
The figures show that, worryingly, one in five respondents don't save anything at all in an average month, with these consumers being most at risk of an unexpected expense jeopardising their finances. However, others are more savvy, as those who do save regularly are able to squirrel away an average of £120 per month, and a further 26% wish they had the resources to save more regularly.
Santander was able to identify clear differences when it came to the savings habits of individuals, with 32% only saving for special occasions or big purchases (and therefore don't have an ingrained savings habit) while 23% set aside as much as they can, and are able to make the most of their savings as a result.
A further 17% admit that saving is a great idea but that they never get around to it, while 11% never think about saving and another 11% find that once they've paid all the bills, they simply have nothing left to save. However, a particularly reckless 6% would rather splash the cash and enjoy themselves, which although tempting, can come at the expense of financial security.
In fact, more that 61% of respondents admit to having been shocked by how much they've spent when checking their bank balance, and 13% admitted that this is a regular occurrence. Some are taking proactive steps to rectify things, however, such as cutting up their credit cards to control their spending (28%) and avoiding shops altogether (36%), while a truly serious 19% have cancelled all their cards.
"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," said Helen Bierton, head of Savings at Santander. "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."
It's these small amounts that can quickly add up, and if you take the little and often approach, you may not even notice the funds disappearing from your bank account. It can pay off, too – not only can it mean you've got a financial buffer against unexpected expenses (21% are saving for this very reason), but it'll make expensive purchases far easier to justify (34% are saving for a car or holiday, for example), and can mean you don't need to deny yourself a few treats in the future. So what's stopping you? Compare savings accounts and get saving!
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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