Does where you live affect your savings habits? According to research from Charter Savings Bank and YouGov, it can make a significant impact, with savers in different parts of the country having very different savings outlooks.
The research found that London is by far the top savings region in the UK, with those who save regularly able to stash away almost five times more per month than those in the North East. In fact, regular savers in the capital squirrel away an average of £1,096 per month, well above Wales in second place (£671/month) and considerably more than the £221/month that those living in the North East are able to save.
Nonetheless, the fact that every region across the UK has some serious regular savers is comforting, but it isn't entirely universal. Unfortunately, 27% of those in the North East admit that they have no savings whatsoever, as do 24% in the North West and South West and 22% in the West Midlands, which shows that there's still work to be done to get absolutely everyone into the savings habit.
For those who aren't able to save regularly, the sum of £1,096 a month may seem impossible to achieve – and for a lot of people, it probably is! But don't let that put you off. Getting into the savings habit doesn't mean you need to save huge amounts, but rather, that you save as much as you can afford, when you can afford it.
Even putting away a few pounds here and there can soon add up, and if you make a few sacrifices (such as fewer takeaways or shop-bought lunches) you could soon see your savings pot grow. Little and often is the order of the day, but if you find you're able to reduce your outgoings even more, it could become a true habit.
You may like to set up a standing order so that a proportion of your income gets directed into a savings account as soon as you've been paid, for example, or if you don't want that kind of commitment, saving any leftover funds at the end of the month – rather than spending it frivolously – could be another great way to go.
However, to really make the most of things, you'll need the right savings account to suit. "While it may come as little surprise that Londoners are saving more each month than most, it is encouraging to see that in every region across the UK people are getting into the savings habit," said Paul Whitlock of Charter Savings Bank.
"With people up and down the country demonstrably putting money away each month, savers must take this opportunity to ensure that their money is working as hard as possible. For some time now challenger banks have been offering a viable alternative to the high street, and with this in mind, savers in every region of the land should shop around and seek the best possible deal before sleepwalking their money into one of the high street banks."
We happen to agree! Our own research shows that challenger banks are still leading the way when it comes to savings rates, so it's important to thoroughly compare the options before you choose your savings provider. Loyalty certainly doesn't pay in this market, so check out our best buys and see if you can find the perfect home for your savings pot.
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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