Having a piggy bank or a pot for storing cash is a great way to get little ones in the saving habit – but it seems that the usefulness of having a pot of change lying around the house is not being ignored by adults, with around three-quarters of Brits keeping a piggy bank topped up in order to cover the odd money emergency.
We can't deny the rising popularity of contactless card payments and systems such as Paym, which enable you to pay friends and family via a mobile number, but research from TopCashback.co.uk has found that cash is not yet dead, and that having some loose change lying around the house can be a life saver if you find yourself caught short.
Indeed, the survey found that on average people keep more than £250 in cash savings in their home, and that 60% of respondents who keep a piggy bank of some sort have had to raid their pot to get them out of a sticky situation. Of these, 41% have used the cash to pay for forgotten groceries, while 39% have dug around for the money in order to pay for a takeaway treat. Others have used it to pay for household necessities, taxis or to re-pay someone they owe money to. Clearly, having this emergency stash is an convenient way to get you out of trouble when expenditure isn't planned.
Having such a fund to fall back on is also beneficial in that it can protect your savings in bank and building society accounts. Fifty-nine per cent of those questioned said that they dip into their vital savings accounts less because they have a cash pot at home to rely on, which means the funds can be preserved for more important purchases.
However, it's worth bearing in mind that having a pile of cash at home won't earn you any interest, so if you want to build up a more substantial emergency fund that you can dip into at any time, you may want to set up an easy access account or ISA. These savings accounts don't require any notice to access your money, so they are perfect if you need to get your hands on some money quickly. If you think you will need frequent access, check that the account will allow multiple or unlimited withdrawals – that way, you can be sure you will always have an emergency pot on standby.
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 Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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