Research from NS&I reveals that average monthly savings levels have risen by 52% in the last decade, with the average amount each person stashes away per month growing from £68.85 in 2005 to £104.56 today. This marks an increase of £35.71 (or 52%) over the 10-year period, but the question is, are you one of the nation's savvy savers? If not, it's time to become one.
The improvement comes despite the fact that the average amount saved has taken a slight dip of 0.8% in the last 12 months, but the decade-long improvement is still worth noting. People could still be feeling the pinch of the recession, after all, but the fact that inflation is so low will hopefully boost consumer spending power – and ideally, savings could follow.
However, what's particularly notable is the fact that women are staring to close the savings gap, by recording a greater percentage increase in their monthly savings: on average, women now save £91.77 a month compared with £56.80 in 2005, up £34.97 (or 62%) in 10 years. In comparison, while men tend to save more overall, their monthly savings have only increased by 44% in the past decade, rising from £81.73 in 2005 to £117.33 today.
Julian Hynd, of NS&I, commented on the findings: "It's encouraging to see that people are able to budget more and more of their monthly income towards their savings. Although the average amount saved per person has slightly fallen compared with spring 2014, we are still seeing the second-highest figures for the decade."
Despite the savings habit clearly improving over the last decade, there's still more that could be done. The figures show that 19% of those aged 16-34 have no savings whatsoever, and although this improves with age – just 9% of those aged 65+ don't have any money set aside – it's clear that the younger generation needs to get in on the action.
If you don't have any savings, just what's stopping you? Well, chances are it's down to a lack of disposable income, with many people simply not having the cash available to squirrel away into a savings account. As we reported earlier this week, research from GE Capital Direct found that seven in 10 of those who aren't currently saving much don't have any money left over at the end of the month, which means their savings pots won't get a boost.
The low interest rate environment could also have a part to play – 22% said that this was discouraging them from saving – and although rates aren't exactly setting the world on fire, there are good deals to be found. Our charts can give you a rundown of the best savings accounts on the market, and what about high interest current accounts? Some offer rates of up to 5%, so they could be worth considering – find the best current account for you by clicking here.
Remember, you don't have to stash away huge amounts of money to benefit. Even saving little and often can soon add up, and if you need a kick-start, a regular savings account could be ideal. Saving could have long-term benefits and can ensure you're ready for anything, as Julian Hynd concludes: "We want to encourage a healthy savings culture where people do think about the unexpected. Regularly reviewing our saving behaviour and putting aside that bit of extra money each month – either for a rainy day or a big ticket purchase – is a good habit for us all to be in."
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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